In an aim to improve competition in downloadable audiobook distribution in Europe, Apple and Amazon have agreed to end an exclusivity agreement that made Audible the only seller of audiobooks inside of iTunes.
A subsidiary of Amazon since 2008, Audible is the seller and producer of downloadable audiobooks and other spoken-word content. Apple’s iTunes store, integrated in Apple devices, allows customers to purchase and download content, including audiobooks.
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“With the deletion of the exclusivity agreement, Apple will now have the opportunity to purchase digital audiobooks from other suppliers. This will enable a wider range of offer and lower prices for consumers,” tech website theverge.com quoted Andreas Mundt, president, Germany’s Antitrust Agency, as saying.
Audible and Apple’s iTunes store are two distributors of downloadable audiobooks to consumers.
Audible will now be able to supply its downloadable audiobooks to third party platforms, that Apple can source audiobooks from alternative suppliers, and that publishers and content aggregators will be able to enter into distribution agreements directly with Apple.