Apple and Amazon Under Investigation By Italian Watchdog for Alleged Price Fixing

Apple and Amazon are under investigation by Italy's antitrust regulator over allegations that the two companies have been blocking the sale of Apple and Beats devices to resellers in order to stifle competition (via Reuters).


The L'Autorit Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato (AGCM) is looking into the allegation, which has been made by legal but unauthorized resellers who could theoretically sell the hardware at a discounted price.

In a press release (translated) today spotted by setteBIT, the ACGM said it was investigating Apple and Amazon for alleged contravention of Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

The purpose of the investigation is to ascertain whether Apple and Amazon have implemented a restrictive agreement to prohibit the sale of Apple and Beats branded products by electronics resellers not participating in Apple's official program, who legitimately purchase products from wholesalers and then resell them to retailers.

In the Authority's view, 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.

The AGCM did not say how long the investigation would take, but did acknowledge that officials carried out inspections at the local offices of both companies this week. Apple has yet to comment on the matter.

This isn't the first AGCM investigation into Apple. A previous probe looked into the company for iPhone battery slowdowns, which the antitrust watchdog said was a form of planned obsolescence and subsequently slapped Apple with a 10 million euro fine.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
2 weeks ago
I just have to admire how every Italian government organization sounds like the name of a famous painting.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
2 weeks ago
Suppose this type of investigation is the cost of doing business in the EU.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
2 weeks ago
Another government wanting a slice of Apple's considerable pie. Innovation killers the lot of them.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
2 weeks ago
It’s silly that companies can’t charge what they want to charge for their own products.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
2 weeks ago
Back in the day when Sony was a big deal...they use to do this. It was really difficult to become an authorized seller. There were certain requirements you had to meet including volume. So some retailers would buy from distributors. Legally Sony could not stop the distribution but they would “strongly encourage“ distributors not to sell to certain retailers. It was an ego driven cat and mouse that ultimately was counterproductive. I am surprised Apple and/or Amazon would bother with something like this
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
2 weeks ago


the marketplace on Amazon is open for „anyone“ to sell their items, even beating Amazon on the price but with Apple products, the same practice is not allowed, therefore keeping the price always „high“ with no competitors able to sell the same item for less.

That's the point!
Here in Europe we pay Apple products 30% more than US (i.e. iPhone 11 Max, 512GB, SIM Free US=$1449 IT=€1689=$1933), some good and legal competition would be welcome.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Confirms This Year's iPhone 12 Models Will Be a Little Bit Late

Thursday July 30, 2020 2:34 pm PDT by
During today's earnings call covering the third fiscal quarter of 2020 (second calendar quarter) Apple CFO Luca Maestri confirmed that Apple is expecting to release this year's iPhones later than usual. Maestri said that Apple last year started selling iPhones in late September, but this year, Apple projects supply will be "available a few weeks later." Multiple rumors have suggested that ...

Apple-Acquired Dark Sky Officially Shuts Down Android App

Saturday August 1, 2020 3:43 pm PDT by
Apple in March purchased weather app Dark Sky, and at that time, Dark Sky's developers said that the app's Android version would be discontinued on July 1, 2020. However, instead of shuttering the app on that date, the app's developers announced that the discontinuation would be delayed for another month. Now that it's August, Android users are no longer able to access the app, and...

Apple Watch Series 6 to Feature Blood Oxygen Monitoring Sensor

Friday July 31, 2020 1:56 am PDT by
The Apple Watch Series 6 will add blood oxygen monitoring to its features list when it's launched later this year, according to a new report from DigiTimes. Apple Watch 6 will feature biosensors that can monitor sleeping conditions, detect blood oxygen and measure pulse rates, heartbeats and atrial fibrillation, and will also incorporate MEMS-based accelerometer and gyroscope, all allowing the ...

Just How Small Will the 5.4-Inch iPhone 12 Screen Be? Try It Out for Yourself

Tuesday July 28, 2020 12:57 pm PDT by
As rumors of the iPhone 12 have continued to build over the past few months, the one model that has the most excitement around it is the smallest 5.4" model. The iPhone 12 is believed to be coming in 5.4", 6.7", and 6.1" sizes. Dummy models have shown how much smaller the 5.4" is compared to the rest of the iPhone lineup. The upcoming 5.4" iPhone falls in-between the size of the original...

Top Stories: Try the 5.4-Inch iPhone 12 Display Size, Blockbuster Earnings, Tim Cook at Antitrust Hearing

Saturday August 1, 2020 6:00 am PDT by
Another busy week of Apple news and rumors has wrapped up, with a lot of focus on Tim Cook's appearance at a Congressional antitrust hearing and a blockbuster earnings report. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. We continued to hear rumors about the upcoming iPhone 12 lineup, including a rare admission from Apple that the lineup will launch "a few weeks later" than...

Emails Reveal Why Steve Jobs and Phil Schiller Blocked In-App Purchase of Kindle Books

Friday July 31, 2020 6:25 am PDT by
Internal Apple emails, made public by the House Judiciary Committee's antitrust inquiry, have revealed information about why Apple blocked in-app purchases of Kindle books on iOS devices, reports The Verge. Two sets of emails between Steve Jobs, Phil Schiller, Eddy Cue, and various other senior Apple executives, disclose the exact thinking behind how Apple approached Kindle on iOS. The...

Battery Likely for Upcoming Apple Watch Series 6 Filed in Certification Listings

Saturday August 1, 2020 5:46 am PDT by
A battery likely for the upcoming Apple Watch Series 6 has been filed at the Korea Testing and Research Institute and discovered by a Twitter user @yabhishekhd. Certification for a 1.17Wh battery with a capacity of 303.8mAh was issued on June 23 by the KTR, a Korean regulatory body that approves and tests new hardware ahead of public sale. The battery seems to be destined for a future...

Apple Marks Return of NHL With New 'Hockey Tape' Ad Shot on iPhone 11 Pro

Saturday August 1, 2020 2:33 am PDT by
Apple today marked the return of NHL hockey with a new "Shot on iPhone" ad on its YouTube channel in Canada. Titled "Hockey Tape," the 30-second video features Vegas Golden Knights players Marc-André Fleury and Mark Stone having some on-ice fun with the iPhone 11 Pro, which they attach to the boards, a hockey stick, and a skate with hockey tape. "See the game like never before with Ultra ...

Apple Launches New Gift Card for 'Everything Apple'

Friday July 31, 2020 3:45 am PDT by
Apple has introduced a new single gift card in the U.S. for all things Apple. First spotted by iCulture, the card can be used at the App Store and other online services, but you can also use it to buy products and accessories in the Apple Store. Previously, there were two separate Apple gift cards available: iTunes cards, which can be used for App Store, iTunes Store, and iCloud storage...

Leaker Jon Prosser Claims iPhone 12 and New iPads Will Launch in October

Wednesday July 29, 2020 4:15 pm PDT by
Leaker Jon Prosser, who has a somewhat mixed track record when it comes to predicting Apple's plans, today said that new iPhone 12 models and new iPads will launch in October. Multiple rumors have suggested that some or all of the iPhone 12 models coming this year will see a later than normal launch. Apple typically unveils and releases new iPhones in the month of September, but problems...