Amazon owned Audible has been the only proprietor of audiobook on iTunes since 2003. This deal has caused some ears to be concerned in the publishing industry. Also the deal has raised antitrust red flags from around the world.
Amazon and Apple are two big tech giants. News from The European Commission puts forward that the tech giants have mutually agreed to put an end to their exclusivity agreement. This means that iTunes is now open to content from third-party providers. Two of the biggest giants have agreed to make the Audible content open to third party providers because of complaints from the German book publishers. Over scrutiny by the European Commission and the German Federal Cartel Office this deal came to be. Amazon/iTunes makes up about 90 percent of the audiobooks downloaded in the country.
Audible will now have third party content
The statement issued by the Commission states that,
“On 5 January 2017, Audible and Apple agreed to remove all exclusivity obligations governing the supply and distribution of audiobooks. These exclusivity obligations, which predated Amazon’s acquisition of Audible in 2008, required Apple to source exclusively from Audible and Audible not to supply music digital platforms other than Apple’s iTunes store.”
Bundeskartellamt, which is a German antitrust regulator has closed its proceedings against Amazon and Apple after this. Andreas Mundt, who is the president of the groups said,
“This will enable a wider range of offer and lower prices for consumers. After conducting intensive market investigations and due to the close cooperation with the European Commission in this case, the Bundeskartellamt was able to close these proceedings without a formal decision.”
There is a lot of uncertainty on how the deal will impact the rest of the world. Audiobooks are very popular all around the globe and third party content will bring forward a more diluted business in the publishing world.
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