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Amazon, Apple slapped $225-mn fine in Italy for alleged collusion

The companies were also ordered to end the restrictions and give resellers access in a "non-discriminatory manner"

Amazon | Apple  | Italy


Apple, iPhone
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Italy's antitrust watchdog has fined and more than 200 million euros ($225 million) for cooperating to restrict competition in the sale of and Beats branded products in violation of European Union rules.

An investigation found that provisions in a 2018 agreement between the US tech giants limited access to Italy's marketplace to selected resellers, the Italian Competition Authority said Tue­sday. The watchdog slapped with a $151.32 million fine and with a $77.29 million penalty.

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 the ICA's suggestion that Amazon benefits by excluding sellers from our store, since our business model relies on their success.” Apple said it respects the Italian Competition Authority "but believe we have done nothing wrong." Teaming up with selected 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 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.”

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First Published: Tue, November 23 2021. 23:41 IST