Apple, Amazon Offices in Italy Searched in Antitrust Probe Over Sale of Beats Headphones
Italy has opened another antitrust investigation into Apple, adding to the number of current antitrust investigations the company faces.
Reuters reports that Italian antitrust officials searched the local offices of Apple and Amazon yesterday as part of an antitrust probe into whether the companies engaged in anti-competitive cooperation in the sale of Apple products and Beats headphones.
The probe is focused on whether the iPhone maker conspired with the e-commerce juggernaut to prevent electronics retailers not included in Apple’s official reseller program from selling its popular Beats headphones and other products.
The investigation started after an Italian retailer complained that Amazon had banned it from re-selling Beats on its website, the authority said in a statement.
The probe is the latest threat to Apple and Amazon from European regulators. The European Commission announced last month it had launched two antitrust investigations into Apple’s App Store rules and Apple Pay platform, while Amazon is expected to face antitrust charges in the EU over its treatment of third-party sellers.
In the US, antitrust attention on Apple and Amazon has been largely overshadowed in public view by scrutiny of Google and Facebook. But the companies will be in the spotlight on Monday when the CEOs of all four companies testify before a House panel that’s been investigating their competitive practices.