What you need to know
- Apple and Amazon are under investigation in Italy.
- Authorities are investigating whether Apple and Amazon used sales tactics to quash competition.
- The investigation will run until November of 2021.
An Italian investigation into shady sales tactics allegedly employed by Amazon and Apple will not conclude until November of 2021.
As noted by setteBIT on Twitter, an investigation into a 2018 agreement will run until 30 November 2021.
Le istruttorie dell’antitrust italiano su Apple & Amazon, x l’accordo del 2018 che buttava fuori dal marketplace Amazon i rivenditori di prodotti Apple/Beats nn allineati https://t.co/ns0aQiTIq1: tutti i dettagli (editati). Da chiudere entro il 30/11/2021 https://t.co/iUOfNNl6zW pic.twitter.com/2ifyai90zHLe istruttorie dell’antitrust italiano su Apple & Amazon, x l’accordo del 2018 che buttava fuori dal marketplace Amazon i rivenditori di prodotti Apple/Beats nn allineati https://t.co/ns0aQiTIq1: tutti i dettagli (editati). Da chiudere entro il 30/11/2021 https://t.co/iUOfNNl6zW pic.twitter.com/2ifyai90zH— setteBIT (@setteBIT) July 28, 2020July 28, 2020
New details were shared regarding the investigation in a bulletin update which notes the procedure must be completed by 30 November 2021. Regarding the specific allegations, the document notes that in February 2019 an electronic product retailer on Amazon was told that their products were being removed from the marketplace "in execution of a commercial agreement that would have occurred between the Apple and Amazon groups in 2018" because they did not belong to the Apple authorized dealer program.
The specific disputed conduct reported consists of "a commercial agreement between the Amazon and Apple groups, under which the sale of Apple and Beats products on the marketplace Amazon would be entrusted exclusively to Amazon and other official retailers, excluding the other economic operators who legitimately lend the sale of these products."
This would create a significant barrier to unofficial resellers trying to sell Apple and Beats products even if they had purchased them through Apple wholesale channels. The document notes that such an agreement is even more serious in the current market context, where e-commerce and online shopping have become fundamental to retail due to COVID-19. In conclusion, it states:
Both Apple and Amazon will have the opportunity to legally defend themselves as part of the process.
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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