The competition regulator in Italy imposed a fine of 200 million euros (225 million dollars) on Tuesday to the US firms Apple and Amazon for disrespecting the competition rules by restricting access to the Amazon platform to some product resellers Manzana.
For this reason, the Italian body “applied a sanction of 68.7 million euros to the companies of the Amazon group and 134.5 million euros to those of the Apple group,” according to a statement.
The investigation allowed “to establish that some clauses of the contract signed on October 31, 2018 that prohibited official and unofficial resellers of Apple and the firm Beats from using the Amazon.it platform and allowed the sale of Apple and Beats products in this market only to Amazon and some sellers chosen individually and in a discriminatory manner violated Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, “according to this statement.
According to the Italian body, the investigation also made it possible to establish the “willingness” of the two companies to “introduce purely quantitative restrictions on the number of resellers”, in order to increase their profits.
This behavior is even more serious since “at least 70% of purchases of electronic products made by the public in Italy are made on the Amazon platform,” says the Italian regulator.
The body also recalls that the jurisprudence of the Court of Justice of the EU establishes that “distribution systems to be compatible with the rules of competition, must be based on qualitative, non-discriminatory criteria, and apply equally to all potential resellers “.
This investigation served as a model “for the competition authorities in Germany and Spain, which also launched similar processes,” according to the Italian body.
ljm / cmk / abx / bl / zm