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200 Million Euros Fine Imposed On Apple And Amazon In Italy

Apple and Amazon

To the disadvantage of other sellers, Apple and Amazon are said to have made illegal agreements in Italy. The result: the responsible antitrust authority has now ordered the two companies to pay heavy fines amounting to millions.

Apple and Amazon are said to made illegal agreements

In the summer of last year, Italy initiated competition proceedings against Amazon and Apple. The accusation: The companies are said to have made illegal price agreements and concluded exclusive contracts that are clearly aimed at hindering other market participants as much as possible. Now the competent Italian antitrust authority, Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato, or AGCM for short, has presented its decision: Apple is to pay a fine of 134.5 million euros, Amazon is imposed a fine of 68.7 million euros.

As heise writes in his latest report, the investigation by the antitrust authorities initially only actually included audio products from Apple’s Beats brand, but then quickly expanded to include other devices from the company. According to the AGCM, strong indications of “cooperation that adversely affects competition” then emerged. One of the unauthorized agreements that are mentioned and are also known from other countries: only dealers who Apple recognizes as official sales partners were even allowed by Amazon on the sales platform.

Apple doesn’t See It As Wrong

As Apple writes according to heise in a statement on the decision of the cartel watchdog, one could not recognize any “wrongdoing” and would therefore seek an appeal procedure against the million-dollar fine. As the company emphasizes, the aim of the collaboration with Amazon was to curb counterfeit offers on the digital marketplace. Amazon itself has not yet commented on the procedure.

Also, the Federal Cartel Office has been dealing with exactly the same allegation that the Italian colleagues have been making since last year. Agreements between the two companies are said to have suppressed the sale of certain branded products by independent dealers in this country as well. The investigations are still ongoing here. Apple brings the same line of argument as in Italy: They want to “protect” customers.