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Apple and Amazon fined €200 million for anti-competitive Beats sales

Apple and Amazon have been issued with combined fines of more than €200 million ($225 million) by Italy’s antitrust authority for an anti-competitive approach to selling Beats and Apple products.

The authority ruled against a 2018 contractural agreement between the two US tech giants ensuring that only authorised resellers could sell Apple and Beats gear (like the Beats Studio Buds) on Amazon’s website. This was a multi-country agreement, taking in the US, the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan and India, but it’s Amazon.it that’s specifically being cited here.

This agreement was found by Italian authorities to be in violation of EU rules, and fines have been handed out to both companies. Apple has been hit hardest with a fine of €134.5 million, while Amazon gets away with a relatively paltry €68.7 million.

Both companies have also been ordered to end their restrictions on who can sell genuine Apple gear in the country.

Apple and Amazon have both said that they will appeal against the decision.

“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,” said Apple (via Reuters).

Amazon, for its part, called the fine “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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