German anti-trust case against Audible, Apple dropped

AP News
Posted: Jan 19, 2017 7:13 AM

BERLIN (AP) — Germany's anti-trust agency says it's dropping its investigation of Amazon subsidiary Audible and Apple after the two companies agreed to end exclusivity deals for audiobook supply and distribution.

The Federal Cartel Office said Thursday the companies earlier this month terminated a deal that gave Audible exclusive rights to sell digital audiobooks on Apple's iTunes, and obliged Audible not to offer its products elsewhere.

Cartel office head Andreas Mundt says the termination of the agreement "will enable a wider range of offer and lower prices for consumers."

The German Publishers and Booksellers Association had complained to both the cartel office and the European Commission.

The Commission says ending the agreement "will allow for further competition in a fast growing and innovative market and allow European consumers broader access to downloadable audiobooks."