What you need to know
- Apple and Amazon are under investigation in Italy.
- It's over allegations of an agreement between the two companies.
- The government would like to know whether they had an agreement restricting competition by prohibiting the sale of hardware.
Apple and Amazon are under investigation in Italy over an alleged agreement to stifle competition by banning the sale of certain hardware.
The Italian competition authority AGCM stated today in a press release:
The Authority for Competition and Market has launched an investigation pursuant to art. 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union towards companies of the Apple Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. groups
This investigation is aimed at ascertaining whether Apple and Amazon have put in place an agreement restricting competition to prohibit the sale of Apple and Beats branded products by electronics retailers not participating in the official Apple program, subjects, the latter, who however, they legitimately purchase products from wholesalers and then resell them to retail. (Translated)
The authority says the agreement to potentially exclude some subjects from "the marketplace" would have potentially reduced competition "due to the raising of barriers to the outlet of online sales markets to the detriment of unofficial retailers," mainly small and medium-sized enterprises who sell on the web.
The authority says such an agreement would also de-incentivize Apple and Amazon to competitively price Apple and Beats Products, negatively impacting consumers and businesses.
According to the announcement, authority officials have inspected the offices of both Amazon and Apple in the country.