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

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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.

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

itsmeaustend

macrumors member
Apr 27, 2016
64
138
Wait, companies shouldn’t be able to sell only to specific retailers? What’s next? Forcing price points?


Yet another example of overreach.
 

itsmilo

macrumors 68040
Sep 15, 2016
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7,938
Berlin, Germany
Wait, companies shouldn’t be able to sell only to specific retailers? What’s next? Forcing price points?


Yet another example of overreach.
i am guessing the issue is, that 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. I assume if Amazon would do the same practice for anyone or not run a marketplace in the first place, they wouldn’t have this issue
 
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IamTimCook

macrumors member
Dec 13, 2016
35
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I can’t wait until I’m able to buy a set of AirPod Pros from the corner gas station, after browsing the folding knifes and Zippo lighters. /s 🤣
 
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Kabeyun

macrumors 68030
Mar 27, 2004
2,731
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Eastern USA
If only governments cared as much about cracking down on things like the sale of counterfeits, used goods marked as new, and the theft of IP, which harm consumers more than this crap. If they did, maybe companies wouldn’t need things like authorized retailer programs.
 

damphoose

macrumors regular
May 12, 2014
163
148
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
 

Rigido

macrumors newbie
Apr 1, 2017
9
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Rome, Italy
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.
 
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justperry

macrumors G4
Aug 10, 2007
10,874
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I'm a rolling stone.
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.
Maybe investigate first before you make unfounded claims.

Just one hint, VAT
And, plenty of other reasons...
 
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NightFox

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May 10, 2005
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Shropshire, UK
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.
Are you remembering to factor VAT into that comparison? European prices are required to be shown with it included, but typically not US prices.
 
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az431

macrumors 68000
Sep 13, 2008
1,675
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Portland, OR
WTF should they have to sell them to resellers?
Did you bother to read the article? It states, quite clearly, that the issue is Apple's restriction on who resellers can sell to, not Apple's sale of products to certain resellers.
- - Post merged: - -

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.
Competition won't affect VAT or currency exchange rates. Do some basic research before commenting.
- - Post merged: - -

Wait, companies shouldn’t be able to sell only to specific retailers? What’s next? Forcing price points?


Yet another example of overreach.
Read the article. Says nothing about being able to sell to specific retailers.
- - Post merged: - -

 

Breaking Good

macrumors 65816
Sep 28, 2012
1,276
982
The Italian Government investigating anyone for corruption is like the fox investigating a break-in at the hen house.
 
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recoil80

macrumors 68040
Jul 16, 2014
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As far as I read it all started because some reseller claimed they couldn't sell Beats products on Amazon after they bought them from a wholesaler, because they aren't official Apple reseller.
So they don't buy directly from Apple, but they have Beats products in stock and they can't sell them on Amazon market place.
 
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parpar

macrumors newbie
Mar 2, 2017
1
1
i am guessing the issue is, that 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. I assume if Amazon would do the same practice for anyone ... they wouldn’t have this issue
No, that would be illegal as well. A manufacturer, wholesaler or marketplace operator is never allowed to dictate the price or set a minimum price for a reseller. That's a violation of EU regulations.
 
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