BERLIN, Sept 21 The association of German book
sellers accused Amazon and its subsidiary Audible on
Monday of building a monopoly in the audio book business as it
lodged complaints with the German competition authority and the
The association said in a statement that Amazon and Audible
were abusing their dominant market position to force publishers
to accept "unreasonable conditions" for the marketing of audio
It said more than 90 percent of all downloads of audio books
in Germany were made via the Audible or Amazon sites, or via the
iTunes store, which is exclusively supplied by Audible.
"The business model of Amazon and Audible is aimed at
destroying the excellent book trade structure in Germany.
These companies are avowedly on the way to establish a
monopoly," said association head Alexander Skipis.
Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The European Commission said it would assess the complaint,
noting it worked closely with national competition authorities
like the one in Germany on antitrust matters.
The German association said its complaint meant it was now
formally a party to ongoing European antitrust proceedings
In June, the European Commission opened an investigation
into Amazon's e-book business, examining whether clauses in its
contracts prevent publishers from offering more favourable deals
Ebooks are a fast-growing industry and Amazon, which
popularised the product, is Europe's biggest player.
The company could be fined up to 10 percent of its global
turnover if found guilty of breaching EU rules.
The investigation is one of two against Amazon. It is also
in the European Commission's crosshairs for deals with
Luxembourg which allow it to pay extremely low taxes.
(Reporting by Emma Thomasson, additional reporting by Foo Yun
Chee in Brussels, editing by Louise Heavens)