Germany

Amazon and Apple end Audible exclusivity deal to avoid antitrust probe by German government

Quietly announced two weeks ago following discussions with both the European Commission and the German Federal Cartel Office, Apple and Amazon have decided to end their deal which made Amazon-owned Audible an exclusive provider of audiobooks for iTunes.

According to a Reuters report Thursday, the move puts an end to antitrust complaints by the German government and is likely to boost competition.

The agreement had been in place for over a decade, since 2003.

Amazon Music Unlimited expands to UK, Germany and Austria

After making its U.S. debut last month, Amazon’s $9.99 per month music-streaming service is set to expand to the United Kingdom, Germany and Austria beginning Monday, announced the online retail giant. The service was live in the United Kingdom at post time, with roll-outs in Germany and Austria following later today.

Earlier this morning, rival Google released revamped Play Music apps with machine learning-driven recommendations based on user location, activity and time of day.

Apple Pay could launch in Germany soon

Apple Pay could launch in its fifth European country soon. As first discovered by German blog iPhone-ticker.de, Apple’s support document highlighting participating banks and card issuers for Apple Pay in Europe appears to have accidentally highlighted Germany on a world map, suggesting the next possible expansion for the iPhone-driven service.

German court rules against Apple in OpenTV patent case

A  German court on Wednesday ruled against Apple in a case over video streaming patents, reports Reuters. The court found the iPhone maker in infringement of digital content streaming patents owned by OpenTV.

OpenTV first sued Apple in 2014, alleging that various products infringe its patents, including the iPhone and iPad. It has also gone after other major technology companies as part of an ongoing IP licensing campaign.

iPhone and iPad prices increase slightly in Germany to comply with new private copyright levies

Apple has slightly raised prices of select iPhone and iPad models sold through its webstore in Germany in order to comply with new private copyright levies, as first reported by Apfelpage.de.

The iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus and iPhone 5s now each cost 5 euros more versus their December 31, 2015, prices on the Apple Online Store. iPad models such as the iPad Pro, iPad Air 2, iPad Air, iPad mini 4 and iPad mini 2 have increased in price by 8 euros for each model.

Personal Pickup now available in France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain and Sweden

Personal Pickup, a handy option which makes it easy for customers to order an Apple product online and have it delivered a few hours later to a specific retail store for pickup, is now available in the following major markets within the European Union: France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden, as first reported by German blog Macerkopf.de.

Germany’s highest appeals court invalidates Apple’s slide-to-unlock patents

Germany’s highest appeals court has ruled that Apple’s famous slide-to-unlock patents are invalid, VentureBeat reported Tuesday.

The ruling basically reaffirmed a 2013 decision in which the lower Federal Patent Court rejected Apple’s claims on the grounds of ‘prior art’. The German courts discovered that Apple’s slide-to-patent involves a similar technique as that featured on a smartphone released before the iPhone by a Swedish company called Neonode.

ABC News expands to Apple TV owners in Germany, France, UK, Sweden and Hungary

ABC News, which last year debuted its inaugural Apple TV channel in the U.S., is now available to owners of Apple’s $99 set-top box in Germany, no subscription required. As first noted by German blog iFun.de, it includes live and recorded shows and local news broadcasts from major U.S. cities.

This includes content from WABC (New York), KABC (Los Angeles), WLS (Chicago), WPVI (Philadelphia), KGO (San Francisco), KTRK (Houston), WTVD (Raleigh), KFSN (Fresno) and WISN (Milwaukee).

Tipsters have confirmed that ABC News is now also available to Apple TV owners in France, the United Kingdom, Hungary, Sweden and other European countries.

Apple expands its iPad trade-in program overseas

Last month, Apple expanded its in-store trade-in program to include iPads. Under its Reuse and Recycling initiative, the program allows users to bring in their old iPads and trade them in for store credit, based on model, condition and other factors.

Initially, the option was only available at Apple stores in the US and Canada, but the company has expanded it overseas this week. Reports are coming in this morning that the iPad trade-in program is now available in France, Spain and Germany…

Apple expands iTunes in the Cloud support in Germany to movies and TV shows

Good news for iOS users in Germany today, as Apple has expanded iTunes in the Cloud in the country. The cloud-based sync-and-storage service now supports the streaming of movies and television shows.

What this means is that German users will now be able to access previously-purchased movie and television content on any Apple device, including the Apple TV, by accessing the ‘Purchased’ tab in iTunes…