Italy fines Apple and Amazon for agreeing prices and blocking competition

The Italian regulatory authorities, specifically the AGCM, they have imposed paths fines to Apple and Amazon for monopoly for agreeing prices, after carrying out an investigation for conspiracy in retail and for agreeing prices. According to Reuters, the investigation began last year on suspicions that the two companies had jointly negotiated prices to prevent other suppliers from downgrading and cutting prices. Also because there were reportedly allegations that the two companies had blocked the sale of Apple and Beats devices to resellers to curb competition.

The conclusion of said AGCM investigation establishes that both cooperated in anti-competitive practices in the sale of Apple and Beats devices on the Amazon platform. In addition, it has also become clear that the contractual provisions of a 2018 agreement between the two implied that only chosen resellers could sell Apple and Beats products in the Italian Amazon store, which violates European Union regulations and affects the price competition.

Therefore, in addition to ceasing the aforementioned practices, Amazon will have to pay 68.7 million euros of fine, and Apple 134.5 million of euros. In total, 203.2 million euros between the two. Of course, both Apple and Amazon have denied the allegations and announced that they will appeal this decision.

According to Apple, which already has several fines in different countries of the world, to ensure that its customers buy authentic products, «We work very closely with our reseller partners, and we have dedicated teams of experts around the world who work with authorities, customs and stores to ensure that only authentic Apple products are sold.«.

Meanwhile, from Amazon they reject «the suggestion that Amazon benefits by excluding sellers from our store, as our business model is based on their success. As a result of the agreement, Italian customers can find the latest Apple and Beats products in our store, benefiting from a catalog that has more than doubled, with better deals and faster shipping.«.

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