Italian Competition Authority (AGCM) has reportedly fined Amazon and Apple more than €200 million ($225 million) for allegedly going against the country’s competition regulations.
As per the investigation concluded by AGCM, the two companies had entered into an agreement in 2018 where only selected sellers would be allowed to sell Apple and Beats products on amazon.it, Amazon’s Italian marketplace. This agreement violated the European Union’s rules, also affecting the competition on pricing.
Apple had acquired Beats, an American headphones brand, in 2014 for $3 billion.
AGMC also found that the restrictions placed upon resellers to access Amazon’s marketplace have been done so in a discriminatory way, ordering the companies to remove them as well from the platform.
Tech giants Amazon and Apple have reported that they plan on appealing against the fines.
In a statement, Apple has stated that it respects the AGCM’s decision but believes that it is not in the wrong, explaining that the reason behind teaming up with select resellers was to ensure that its customers are purchasing genuine products.
A spokesperson for the company added that delivering non-genuine products would count as an inferior experience and can also be dangerous for the brand and the customers.
Apple further stated that the company maintains close ties with its reseller partners and has dedicated teams that ensure only genuine products are sold, with experts who work with law enforcement, customs as well as merchants.
Meanwhile, Amazon has also expressed disagreement with the Italian authority’s decision, claiming that its share of the proposed fine of €68.7 million ($77 million) was disproportionate and unjustified.
An Amazon spokesperson stated that the company denies the allegation of benefitting from restricting access to sellers on its marketplace since its business model relies on those seller’s success, further adding that with the 2018 agreement, Amazon’s product catalog for its Italian customers has more than doubled, which has resulted in better deals with faster shipping as well.
Source credit: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-59392829