Italy Fines Apple and Amazon $225 Million for Anti-Competitive Measures
Autorita’ Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato (ACGM), Italy’s antitrust authority, has issued a fine of a combined 200 million euros ($286 million CAD) to Apple and Amazon as a result of the alleged anti-competitive cooperation in regards to the sale of Apple Beats.
Reuters reports that “contractual provisions” of a 2018 agreement were discovered. Apparently, only selected resellers were allowed to sell Apple and Beats products through Amazon.it, as agreed upon by both Apple and Amazon. However, this agreement then limited resellers, which the European Union assessed was a violation of rules and affected competition on prices.
ACGM fined Apple 134.5 million euros ($192 million CAD) and fined Amazon 68.7 million euros ($98.4 million CAD). The antitrust authority also ordered Apple and Amazon to end the aforementioned restrictions and allow any reseller to sell Apple and Beats products.
In a statement, an Apple spokesperson told Reuters, “To ensure our customers purchase genuine products, we work closely with our reseller partners and have dedicated teams of experts around the world who work with law enforcement, customs and merchants to ensure only genuine Apple products are being sold.”
Amazon provided a separate statement. The company disagrees with the concussion the ACGM has drawn. An Amazon spokesperson stated, “We reject the suggestion that Amazon benefits by excluding sellers from our store, since our business model relies on their success. As a result of the agreement, Italian customers can find the latest Apple and Beats products on our store, benefiting from a catalogue that more than doubled, with better deals and faster shipping.”
Apple and Amazon are both planning to appeal against the fines issued.