Audiobook prices could soon fall after Apple and Amazon have decided to end exclusivity deals around the world. The move came after both companies received pressure from European Union antitrust regulators to end the practice, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Until now, Apple had to source audiobooks worldwide from Amazon’s Audible unit. At the same time, Amazon could only supply its audiobooks to Apple’s iTunes store.
“The exclusivity agreement affected the sales opportunities of audiobook publishers since, apart from Audible, there were few alternative purchasers available,” according to Andreas Mundt, head of Germany’s antitrust regulator, the Bundeskartellam. She notes that removing the obligations “will enable a wider range of offer and lower prices for consumers.”
With Apple and Amazon ending exclusivity deals, the European Commission has dropped its formal probe into the companies’ arrangements.
Germany’s competition watchdog first looked into the arrangement in 2015. This followed receiving a complaint from the German Publishers and Booksellers Association.
There’s been no word on when Amazon and Apple will begin using other audiobook providers. Hopefully, audiobook prices will start to fall in the coming months as competition starts gaining traction.
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