Apple and Amazon under investigation in Spain over alleged anticompetitive online sales

iPhone event
iPhone event (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Apple and Amazon are under investigation in Spain.
  • It's over allegations that the two may have had an agreement about selling Apple products on Amazon's websites.
  • The CNMC says it may have led to restrictions on third parties selling Apple products, advertising of competitors, and other trade restrictions.

Spain's antitrust authority is investigating a possible deal between Apple and Amazon that may have placed restrictions on sales of Apple products by third parties, the body has confirmed.

In a press release Thursday the CNMC said:

The CNMC has initiated a sanctioning case against the companies: Amazon Services Europe S.À.R.L.; Amazon Europe Core S.À.R.L.; Amazon EU S.À.RL; and Amazon Online Spain, S.L. (collectively referred to as "Amazon"); and against Apple Distribution International Ltd.; Apple Retail Spain, S.L.; and Apple Marketing Iberia, S.A. (collectively referred to as "Apple"), for possible anti-competitive practices in the sectors of internet sales of electronic products and the provision of marketing services to third-party retailers through online platforms (Marketplace) in Spain.

The CNMC says it has had access to information "from which it can be deduced the existence of rational indications of the commission by Amazon and Apple" of infringements of competition laws in the country and the EU, regarding an agreement the two may have had.

The body says it may have included possible restrictions on the Amazon website on the retailing of Apple products by third parties, advertising of Apple's competitors and ad campaigns targeting Apple customers, and other trade restrictions. The CNMC says "the conduct investigated could be restricting competition in the sectors of internet sales of electronic products, and the provision of marketing services to third-party retailers through online platforms (Marketplace) in Spain."

The investigation will take a maximum of 18 months, which includes time for resolution.

A similar investigation in Apple and Amazon was launched last year, covering all of the same alleged anticompetitive behavior.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9