Amazon and Apple handed $308m Italian fine for alleged collusion

The authority imposed a fine of €68.7 million on Amazon and €134.5 million on Apple. PHOTO: REUTERS

MILAN (REUTERS) - Italy's antitrust authority has fined United States tech giants Amazon and Apple a total of more than €200 million (S$308 million) for alleged anti-competitive cooperation in the sale of Apple and Beats products.

Contractual provisions of a 2018 agreement between the companies meant only selected resellers were allowed to sell Apple and Beats products on Amazon.it, the competition watchdog said, adding that this was in violation of European Union rules.

The authority imposed a fine of €68.7 million on Amazon and €134.5 million on Apple, ordering the companies to end the restrictions to give retailers of genuine Apple and Beats products access to Amazon.it in a non-discriminatory manner.

Both Apple and Amazon said they plan to appeal against the fine.

"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.

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