Amazon and Apple to scrap monopoly on audiobook exclusivity

By Dale Benton
A decision by Amazon and Apple to scrap all exclusivity obligations in the supply and distribution of audiobooks will likely boost competition, EU antit...

A decision by Amazon and Apple to scrap all exclusivity obligations in the supply and distribution of audiobooks will likely boost competition, EU antitrust regulators said on Thursday.

The companies announced the decision earlier this month after talks with the European Commission and the German Federal Cartel Office. Such curbs had prompted a complaint from the German Publishers and Booksellers Association to both regulators, triggering an investigation by the German enforcer in November 2015.

"The European Commission welcomes an agreement to end all exclusivity obligations concerning audiobook supply and distribution between Amazon's subsidiary Audible and Apple," the EU competition authority said in a statement.

The German cartel office said on Thursday it had closed its investigation into Apple and Amazon. The watchdog said that there was no further reason to continue the investigation.

The probe started at the end of 2015, sparked by a complaint from the German publishers and booksellers lobby, who said Amazon and Apple were abusing their dominant market position.

The publishers and booksellers said more than 90 percent of all downloads of audio books in Germany were made via the Audible or Amazon sites, or via the iTunes store, which was exclusively supplied by Audible.

"With the deletion of the exclusivity agreement Apple will now have the opportunity to purchase digital audiobooks from other suppliers," Andreas Mundt, president of the German cartel office, said in a statement.

"This will enable a wider range of offer and lower prices for consumers," he added.

 

The January issue of Supply Chain Digital is live!

Follow @SupplyChainD on Twitter.

Supply Chain Digital is also on Facebook.

Share

Featured Articles

Blockchain strengthening links in supply chain

Though use of blockchain solutions in supply chain is still relatively low, Tech Mahindra is among pioneers driving its adoption

Earthquake tech inspired Partsch to invent SCM in 1970s

In the late 1970s, physicist Dr Wolfgang Partsch - the father of supply chain management - used science as the basis for his revolutionary concept of SCM

SaaS bloat 'hitting procurement bottom lines'

Unused SaaS subscriptions are eroding procurement and supply chain bottom lines at a time when inflation means cost cutting is of paramount importance

Cold chain logistics 'flying blind' - Tive & FreightWaves

Technology

Logistics innovation 'hampered by C-suite, cash & staffing'

Digital Supply Chain

Biden appoints new supply chain risk cyber chief

Supply Chain Risk Management