The watchdog has ordered Amazon and Apple to end restrictions on sales competition and give resellers access in a ‘non-discriminatory manner’.
Italy’s antitrust watchdog fined Apple and Amazon a total of more than 200 million euros ($ 225 million) for collaborating to restrict competition in the sale of Apple and Beats branded products in violation of European Union rules.
An investigation has found that provisions in a 2018 agreement between the US technology giants restrict access to Italy’s Amazon market to selected resellers, the Italian Competition Authority said on Tuesday.
The watchdog beat Apple with a fine of 134.5 million euros ($ 151.32 million) and Amazon with a fine of 68.7 million euros ($ 77.29 million). It also ordered them to end the restrictions and give resellers access in a “non-discriminatory manner”.
Both Apple and Amazon said they would appeal.
“The proposed fine is disproportionate and unjustified,” Amazon said. “We reject ICA’s proposal that Amazon benefit by excluding sellers from our store, as our business model relies on their success.”
Apple has said it respects the Italian Competition Authority “but believes we did nothing wrong”.
Working with select resellers helps customer safety because it ensures products are genuine, Apple said.
“Non-genuine products deliver an inferior experience and can often be dangerous,” Apple said. “To ensure our customers buy genuine products, we work closely with our reseller partners and have dedicated teams of experts around the world working with law enforcement, customs and retailers to ensure only genuine Apple products are sold.”