Italian regulators imposed fines totaling more than $225 million on American technology giants Amazon and Apple on Tuesday for alleged anti-competitive cooperation in the sale of Apple products.
The Italian Competition Authority said on Tuesday that its investigation found that Amazon and Apple reached an agreement in 2018 that prevented various distributors of Apple and Beats products on Amazon.it, the Italian center of the market. Beats is an audio manufacturer that sells headphones and was acquired by Apple in 2014.
Italian regulators imposed a fine of approximately US$77 million on Amazon and approximately US$151 million on Apple.
Amazon challenged the conduct of the Italian Competition Authority and vowed to appeal.
Amazon said in a statement: “The proposed fines are disproportionate and unreasonable.” “We reject ICA’s recommendation that Amazon benefits by excluding sellers from our store because our business model depends on their success. .”
Amazon also argued that Italian customers can find the latest Apple and Beats products through its stores because its catalog “more than doubled, deals are better, and shipments are faster.”
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Amazon and Apple are also facing antitrust lawsuits in other parts of the world. According to the regulator’s announcement on Tuesday, after Italians investigated the agreement between Amazon and Apple, the Italian Competition Authority stated that Germany and Spain have initiated their own litigation procedures.
In the United States, both Amazon and Apple are facing antitrust scrutiny by policymakers. Senator Tom Cotton, Republican of Arkansas, and Senator Amy Klobuchar, Democrat of Minnesota, introduced a new bill earlier this month that gives government regulators stronger enforcement. Power to prevent large technology companies such as Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google from conducting anti-competitive mergers and acquisitions.