Italy fines Amazon and Apple $230 million for collusion
Italy fines Amazon and Apple $230 million for collusion

After an investigation into the resale of Apple and Beats Group (owned by Apple) in the Italian e-commerce market Amazon, Amazon and Apple were fined approximately $230 million by the Italian competition authority) proved.

Italy's competition authority said the alleged collusion had reduced the discounts consumers could get when buying Apple and Beats products on Amazon's Italian market. He also ordered the tech giants to lift restrictions on service providers.

AGCM announced the penalties, saying its investigation revealed a restrictive agreement between the two companies that prohibits legitimate retailers of certain Beats products from selling on

The fine will be split between 134.5 million euros (about $151 million) for Amazon and 68.7 million euros ($77.3 million) for Apple. The two companies signed the corresponding agreement in October 2018.

According to a press release from the AGCM, the agreement included several contractual clauses prohibiting official and unofficial distributors of Apple and Beats products from using and restricting the sale of Apple and Beats products through For them and for some of the traders, the authorities alleged that they were individually selected in a discriminatory manner in violation of Article 101 of the EU Labor Treaty.

The investigation revealed the intention to limit the number of retailers in purely quantitative terms. This allows Amazon and some discriminatively identified sellers to operate through

Contract terms also restrict sales across borders as retailers are discriminated against geographically. Agreement restrictions affected the amount of discounts offered by third parties through, thus reducing the volume.

New fines for Amazon

Authorities say Amazon's domestic market accounts for at least 70% of purchases of consumer electronics in the country. Retailers using Amazon as an intermediary platform make up at least 40%.

Hence, application of competition rules appears necessary to level the playing field for all retailers who see the market as an increasingly important place for business. Avoid discriminatory actions that restrict competition.

From this point of view, the authority's decision is in line with the case law of the European Court of Justice, which recognizes the need for a competitive distribution system based on non-discriminatory quality standards as well as on all potential distributors.

The Italian authorities also indicated this after investigating the agreement between Amazon and Apple. Then the national competition authorities in Germany and Spain took similar measures.

The Spanish National Market and Competition Commission announced this summer that it would take disciplinary action against Amazon and Apple. She started her own investigation (she said it would take up to 18 months).

In 2018, the Federal Cartel Office filed a complaint against Amazon after receiving complaints from sellers on the Amazon Marketplace. But the trial ends in the second year. This came after Amazon changed the seller's terms of service. He also promised to make additional changes to address competition concerns.

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