Italy’s anti-trust regulator has opened an investigation against Apple and Amazon for engaging in anti-competitive behavior. There are allegations that Apple and Amazon have co-operated to prevent the sale of Apple and Beats branded products from other electronic resellers that are not a part of Apple’s official program.
The investigation has been launched by Italy’s L’Autorit Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato (AGCM). It believes that by limiting third-party sellers from selling Apple products in online marketplaces, Apple and Amazon are trying to limit competition. Seemingly, the investigations have already searched Amazon and Apple’s offices as a part of their investigation.
As per the press release (translated) from AGCM, the “agreement to exclude certain parties from the marketplace appears to have the potential to reduce competition by raising barriers to the outlet of online sales markets to the detriment of unofficial resellers, which are usually small and medium-sized enterprises that sell on the web using marketplace services.”
It is unclear as to how long the investigation will last and what fines Apple and Amazon will be subjected to if they are found guilty. Apple was previously slapped with a 10 million euro fine by Italian regulators for slowing down older iPhones with software updates. It also ordered Apple to show a consumer protection notice on its website about its wrong practices.