Fine to Amazon and Apple, excluded unauthorized resellers
After more than a year of investigations and inspections in the Italian offices of the two companies, the Antitrust fine Apple And Amazon for an agreement that violates competition law. In fact, according to the Guarantor, the two companies were agree to admit only authorized Apple resellers to the largest ecommerce in the world. Amazon receives a fine from 69.7 million euroswhile the Apple 134.5 million euros.
Antitrust fine to Amazon and Apple for agreement that excludes unauthorized resellers
According to what is reported in the papers presented by the Guarantor of the Market and Competition, on Amazon’s ecommerce only 20 retailers could sell Apple and Beat-branded productss. Only authorized resellers, while independent ones did not have access to the platform. Although they regularly bought the products from wholesalers.
The indictment comes on July 14, 2020, when one of the retailers banned from Amazon makes a complaint. He claims that on October 31, 2018, the two American companies signed an agreement to eliminate anyone who does not officially affiliate with Apple.
In Italy, there are many wholesale distributors selling Apple products. The Republic, for example, remembers Ingram Micro Italy, Tech Data Corporation, Attiva, Daicom, Eds Group. And they sell Apple devices to Apple authorized stores and Apple Premium stores (which also do customer support), which can also receive the devices directly from Apple. But wholesalers also serve unauthorized resellers.
But Apple doesn’t just supply the devices, just like Amazon doesn’t just offer the marketplace services – they both sell iPhones and Macs directly to the public. Billing respectively 287 million euros (Apple) and 1163 billion euros (Amazon) per year.
The Antitrust Authority did not believe Apple’s justifications, which claims to have entered into this agreement to limit the sale of fake products. Furthermore, Apple pointed out that used or refurbished products are not limited. And in June 2021 it put some changes into practice to narrow the gap with unauthorized resellers.
The Antitrust, however, does not seem convinced. He not only commissions the fine but asks that such an agreement not be repeated. And that access to the ecommerce platform is based solely “on criteria of a qualitative nature only, non-discriminatory and applied equally to all potential retailers”. Spain and Germany have started similar trials about the Amazon-Apple deal.
UPDATE AT 17.00
Amazon’s official statement is as follows:
“We deeply disagree with the decision of the Italian Competition Authority (AGCM) and intend to appeal. The sanction imposed is disproportionate and unjustified.
We reject the AGCM’s considerations that Amazon benefits from the exclusion of sales partners from the store, as our business model is based on their success. Thanks to the agreement with Apple, Italian customers can find the latest Apple and Beats products on our store, benefiting from a catalog that has more than doubled, with better offers and faster shipping ”.