Apple and Amazon were fined a total of more than 200 million euros ($225 million) by Italy’s antitrust authority for the alleged price-fixing of the sales of Apple and Beats products, reports Reuters.
The fines are the result of an investigation that began in 2020 over allegations that the two firms had been controlling the sale of Apple and Beats devices to resellers in order to stifle competition.
The Italian authority said due to a 2018 agreement between Apple and Amazon only selected resellers were allowed to sell the Apple and Beats products on Amazon in Italy. This was a violation of EU rules and affected competition on prices.
Amazon was fined 68.7 million euros ($77.3 million), while Apple was hit with a fine of 134.5 million euros ($151.2 million). The companies were also ordered to end the restrictions to give retailers of genuine Apple and Beats products access to the Italian Amazon web store in a “non-discriminatory manner.” Both Apple and Amazon said they plan to appeal against the fines.
“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,” Apple said, denying any wrongdoing.
In a separate statement Amazon said it strongly disagreed with the decision of the Italian authority and that the proposed fine was “disproportionate and unjustified.”
“We reject the suggestion that Amazon benefits by excluding sellers from our store, since our business model relies on their success. As a result of the agreement, Italian customers can find the latest Apple and Beats products on our store, benefiting from a catalogue that more than doubled, with better deals and faster shipping,” Amazon said.
The investigation into Apple by Italy’s antitrust regulator is certainly not the first time Apple’s business practices have been investigated. A previous probe looked into the company for iPhone battery slowdowns, which resulted in a 10 million euro fine.