The Italian antitrust authority has found Apple and Amazon guilty of what Reuters refers to as “alleged anti-competitive cooperation”, and ordered them to pay fines of €134.5m and €68.7m respectively. (That’s roughly £113m and £58m.)
Following an investigation which we first reported in July last year, L’Autorita Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato (AGCM) has found that the two companies colluded to fix prices on Apple and Beats products. The AGCM said a 2018 agreement stipulated that only selected retailers could sell these products through the amazon.it website, in contravention of EU rules.
In addition to the fines, Amazon has been ordered to allow all companies that sell goods through amazon.it to also sell Apple and Beats products.
Both companies will appeal against the decision, telling Reuters that the agreement is there to protect customers from counterfeit products.
“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 in a statement.
Amazon, meanwhile, said: “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.”
This article originally appeared on Macworld Sweden. Translation (using DeepL) and additional reporting by David Price.