Italian antitrust regulator fines Apple and Amazon more than $225 million

Regulators have ordered Amazon and Apple to end restrictions on sales competition and provide distributors with access in a “non-discriminatory manner.”

Italy’s antitrust regulators have fined Apple and Amazon total more than 200 million euros (225 million U.S. dollars) on the grounds that they cooperated to restrict competition in the sale of Apple and Beats branded products in violation of EU regulations.

The Italian Competition Authority said on Tuesday that an investigation found that the terms of an agreement reached by the U.S. technology giant in 2018 restricted certain distributors from entering the Italian Amazon market.

Regulators imposed a fine of 134.5 million euros ($151.3 million) on Apple and 68.7 million euros ($77.29 million) on Amazon. It also ordered them to end restrictions and provide distributors with access in a “non-discriminatory manner.”

Both Apple and Amazon said they would appeal.

“The proposed fines are disproportionate and unreasonable,” Amazon said. “We reject ICA’s recommendation that Amazon benefits by excluding sellers from our store because our business model depends on their success.”

Apple said it respects the Italian Competition Authority, “but believes that we have done nothing wrong.”

Apple stated that working with selected resellers helps customer safety because it can ensure that the product is genuine.

Apple said: “Non-genuine products provide a poor experience and are usually dangerous.” “To ensure that our customers buy genuine products, we work closely with distributor partners and have dedicated teams of experts around the world. Law enforcement, customs, and merchants work together to ensure that only genuine Apple products are sold.”

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