Audible No Longer Apple's Exclusive Audiobook Supplier

It originally required Apple to source audiobooks exclusively from Audible, and prevented Audible from supplying audiobooks to digital music platforms other than the iTunes Store.

Apple and Amazon have agreed to end an exclusivity agreement that made Audible the only seller of audiobooks inside of iTunes.

The German Federal Cartel office said it had closed its investigation as a result of Apple and Amazon terminating the exclusive contract. Skipis is, Managing Director of the German Publishers and Booksellers Association (Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels), the association that filed the complaint against the discriminating deal between the e-retailer and technology pioneer.

The European Commission said it welcomed the agreement.

Germany's competition watchdog on Thursday dropped its formal probe into the companies' arrangements, while the European Commission, the bloc's antitrust regulator, which was also scrutinizing the companies' arrangements, said it welcomed the deal.

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

In a statement given to The Verge, Audible confirmed that it had removed the exclusivity provision in its agreement with Apple, which means its audiobooks will now be available through third-party providers. Removing the obligations "will enable a wider range of offer and lower prices for consumers".

Since 2003, Amazon-owned Audible has been the sole proprietor of audiobook on iTunes, a deal that has ruffled plenty of publishing feathers and raised some antitrust red flags around the world.

The decision was agreed earlier this month following talks between the EC and the German Federal Cartel Office, largely in part due to the country's publishers being the ones to bring the case to the EC.

  • Essie Rivera