Amazon & Apple slapped with a €200m fine from Italian antitrust authority

Amazon and Apple have been hit with a €200 million fine by Italy’s antitrust authority, for alleged anti-competitive cooperation in the sale of Apple and Beats products. 

The antitrust body claimed the two companies colluded to stop some retailers selling genuine Apple and Beats products on Amazon, which was in violation of European Union rules and affected competition on prices. 

The authority imposed a fine of €68.7 million on Amazon and €134.5 million on Apple, ordering both companies to end the restrictions to give retailers of genuine Apple and Beats products fair access to Amazon. 

In a statement released today, the authority said: “contractual provisions of an agreement entered into on Oct. 31, 2018 barred official and unofficial resellers of Apple and Beats products from using, allowing the sale of those products in that marketplace only to Amazon and to selected parties in a discriminatory manner.”

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However, both Apple and Amazon have said they plan to appeal against the fines. 

“To ensure our customers purchase genuine products, we work closely with our reseller partners and have dedicated teams of experts around the world who work with law enforcement, customs and merchants to ensure only genuine Apple products are being sold,” Apple said in a statement to Reuters, denying any wrongdoing.

In a separate statement, Amazon expressed its vehement disagreement with the Italian authority, calling the decision “disproportionate and unjustified.”

“We reject the suggestion that Amazon benefits by excluding sellers from our store, since our business model relies on their success,” Amazon said. 

“As a result of the agreement, Italian customers can find the latest Apple and Beats products in our store, benefiting from a catalogue that more than doubled, with better deals and faster shipping.”

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