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Apple, Amazon end exclusivity obligations for audiobooks

Apple Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. ended their exclusivity obligations regarding the audiobook supply and distribution between the online retailer's unit Audible and the iPhone maker.

The obligations were scrapped following talks between the companies and the European Commission and the German Federal Cartel Office. The move will allow Audible to supply its downloadable audiobooks to third-party platforms, the agency said Jan. 19. Apple, meanwhile, will be able to source audiobooks from alternative suppliers, and publishers and content aggregators will be able to enter into distribution agreements directly with Apple.

The antitrust regulators have been looking into the exclusivity arrangement since receiving a complaint from the German Publishers and Booksellers Association.