Italy’s antitrust authority (AGCM) has imposed heavy fines on Amazon and Apple after concluding that the two companies were working together to control sales of Apple and Beats products.
As Reuters reports, the AGCM uncovered “contractual arrangements” as part of an agreement between the two companies in 2018 limiting which resellers can sell Apple and Beats products. This turned out to be a violation of the rules within the European Union and qualified as anti-competitive behavior.
The so-called anti-competitive cooperation fined Amazon $ 77 million, while Apple faces a larger fine of $ 151 million. The two companies are also to remove all restrictions on the sale of Apple and Beats products in the future. However, and as you might expect, the two companies disagree with the findings and subsequent fines.
Apple denies doing anything wrong, with a spokesperson saying:
“To ensure our customers are buying genuine products, we work closely with our reseller partners and have dedicated expert teams around the world who work with law enforcement, customs and traders to ensure that only genuine Apple products are sold. “
Amazon also thinks it hasn’t done anything wrong:
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“We reject the suggestion that Amazon would benefit from excluding sellers from our store, as our business model is based on their success. Through the deal, Italian customers can find the latest Apple and Beats products on our store, benefiting from a catalog that has more than doubled, with better offers and faster shipping. “
Rather than pay the fines, remove restrictions discovered by AGCM and move on, the two companies said they plan to appeal the decision.
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