The Italian competition authority AGCM has fined Apple and Amazon a total of 200 million euros. The US tech giants colluded to restrict Apple sellers’ access to Amazon’s online store.
These are provisions in an October 2018 contract that prohibits sellers of Apple products and its headphone brand Beats from using the Italian version of Amazon’s online store. Instead, only Amazon itself and certain individually selected sellers were allowed to sell the products via the e-commerce platform, the watchdog says.
An investigation by the AGCM found that the scheme was simply intended to limit the number of suppliers of the products on the web store in order to boost revenues.
The arrangement they made is contrary to European rules, the regulator emphasizes. This takes the violation even more seriously since at least 70 percent of online purchases of consumer electronics in Italy are made via Amazon.
Apple and Amazon must now lift the restrictions. In addition, the AGCM fined them EUR 134.5 million and EUR 68.7 million, respectively. According to the competition watchdog, the German and Spanish regulators have also started proceedings against Apple and Amazon, following the Italian investigation.