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Tag - Germany
The German Federal Cartel Office, which handles antitrust investigations, is looking into the agreement between Amazon and Apple by which the latter purchases audiobooks from Amazon-owned Audible for sale in iTunes. While there is no suggestion yet that either company is doing anything wrong, the office appears to be concerned that the arrangement has resulted in such a strong market position as to potentially be anti-competitive, and thus in need of a closer look.
Music, apps, and other content on iTunes is now able to be purchased using carrier billing in Germany, it has been revealed. Subscribers of O2 in the country can pay for items within iTunes using their mobile phone account with customers able to enter their mobile phone number into iTunes itself and have charges added to their monthly bill, or in the case of prepaid customers, whatever credit is available to use on the account.
Following some localized YouTube channels for Apple's videos in South Korea and Japan over the summer, four new official Apple channels -- for Spain, France, Germany, and Italy -- now offer local-language versions of Apple's recent and older videos for new products and services. Not counting the US-based "original" channel, the Japanese version has thus far proven the most popular, attracting more than 10,000 subscribers after less than three months. Of the four new European channels, France has about half as many subscribers as the others.
Apple appears to be constructing a second, but thus far unannounced, Apple Store in Cologne, Germany, report enthusiast sites Macerkopf and Apfelpage. Photos taken from a building opposite the proposed site on Schildergasse appear to show the company's trademark long wooden tables and some remaining renovation work for the forthcoming glass staircase. The store would not be expected to open until this fall.
Uber is going to launch a new service in Germany, following its ban by a local court this month. The court banned Uber over its use of unlicensed cab drivers, reports Reuters, and intends to fine Uber drivers violating local transport laws. A new service will be launching this summer, with Uber paying the commercial passenger transport licenses and to register drives as taxi companies at a cost of between 250 euro ($270) and 400 euro ($435) per driver, most likely under the UberX brand.
Fresh from his trip to Germany, Apple CEO Tim Cook and Apple VP of Hardware Technology Johny Srugi -- the latter a graduate of Israel's Technion Institute of Technology -- have made their way to Israel for meetings and to attend the opening of a new set of Apple R&D offices in Herzliya. Along with the announcement of a nearly $2 billion investment in two new data centers to be located in Europe, Cook and Srugi met with various Israeli officials, including President Rueven Rivlin and former president Shimon Peres.
Apple CEO Tim Cook was spotted in Berlin, Germany on Tuesday, spending a portion of his day with the editors of the German tabloid paper Bild, though the reasons for the visit were not made clear. Cook may be in Germany for a variety of reasons, ranging from meetings with EU bankers to help forge European Apple Pay agreements, to overseeing the last of the glass panels for the Apple Campus 2, or on his way to Israel to help open the new Apple R&D center there. While in Germany, he tweeted a remembrance of what would have been Steve Jobs' 60th birthday.
Apple's official online shipping times for the iPod shuffle have improved in the UK, France, Germany, and several other European countries, reports say. Earlier this month, shipping times deteriorated to between seven to 10 days worldwide, prompting fears that Apple might be discontinuing the product. Sources claimed that Apple was just going through component supplier changes, however, and this may be borne out by the European Apple online stores, which is now seeing the media player ship in five to seven days. Delays have yet to improve in the US or Canada, but may follow suit in the near future.
Apple has increased the costs for developers and products in a range of countries across Europe, reports say. German developers note that the cost of an annual Developer Program membership has jumped from €80 ($96) to €99 ($119). The change is presumably affecting all European Union countries, since Apple rarely makes changes in one Euro market to the exclusion of others. In the UK, developer registration fees have been hiked from from £60 ($92) to £79 ($121).
While members of the European Union and the US fight net neutrality and Internet traffic equality battles, German Chancellor Angela Merkel waded in during a conference in Berlin to explain her outlook for the Internet. Instead of looking towards maintaining a neutral playing field for all, Merkel says that the Internet should be split into two tiers to accommodate special services.