Italy launches investigation into Apple and Amazon over sales tactics

Powerbeats on iPhone
Powerbeats on iPhone (Image credit: iMore)

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 Inc. groupsThis 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.

Recently the EU opened separate investigations into Apple Pay and the App Store

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