Italy Fines Apple, Amazon $230M Over ‘Secret’ Deal To Limit Resellers
The European Union’s top bureaucrats aren’t the only officials on the continent focused on demanding fairness and accountability from American big tech firms like Google, Apple and Amazon.
This week, Italy fined tech giants Amazon and Apple roughly $230M, accusing the firms of anti-competitive activities by claiming they secretly cooperated to restrict sales of Apple products in Italy on platforms run by Amazon. The two tech giants allegedly struck a deal back in 2018, which allegedly enabled only ‘selected resellers’ to sell Apple products and Beats electronic accessories on Amazon.it.
Italy’s antitrust authority ruled that the firms acted in violation of EU laws and affected competition on prices. Apple and Amazon were ordered to scrap their deal and the restrictions it imposes, and give all retailers of Apple and Beats products non-discriminatory access to Amazon.it.
Amazon was fined $77.4MM and Apple received a separate $151.5MM fine, lawyers said.
Both tech giants said they would appeal the decision. In a statement cited by Reuters, Amazon called the fine “disproportionate and unjustified,” rejecting the notion that it “benefits by excluding sellers from our store, since our business model relies on their success.”
In a separate statement, Apple also denied the allegation, stressing that the company chooses its resale partners with care “to ensure only genuine Apple products are being sold.”