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An administrative court in Italy today scrapped a €173.3 million ($170.4 million) fine leveled at Apple and Amazon last year for alleged anti-competitive cooperation when selling Apple and Beats products, Reuters reports.

italyapplestore.jpg

In November 2021, Italy's antitrust watchdog hit Apple and Amazon with a €200 million ($196 million) fine in the culmination of an investigation that began in 2020 over allegations that the two companies had been blocking the sale of Apple and Beats devices to resellers in order to stifle competition and keep prices high.

The regulator said contractual provisions of a 2018 agreement between the two companies meant only selected resellers were allowed to sell the products on Amazon's Italian store, which was in violation of EU rules and affected competition on prices.

Amazon was fined €68.7 million euros ($67.6 million), while Apple received a fine of €134.5 million ($132.3 million). The watchdog also ordered the companies to end the restrictions to give retailers of genuine Apple and Beats products access to the Italian Amazon web store in a "non-discriminatory manner."

Both Apple and Amazon appealed against the fines. "To ensure our customers purchase genuine products, we work closely with our reseller partners and have dedicated teams of experts around the world who work with law enforcement, customs and merchants to ensure only genuine Apple products are being sold," Apple said, denying any wrongdoing. In a separate statement Amazon said it strongly disagreed with the decision of the Italian authority and that the proposed fine was "disproportionate and unjustified."

Earlier this year, the fine was reduced to an overall €173.3 million ($170.4 million) due to a "material error" in the initial calculation. Amazon welcomed today's ruling in a statement, while Apple and Italy's antitrust regulator declined to comment.

Article Link: Apple and Amazon's $170M Antitrust Fine Overturned by Italian Court
 

kc9hzn

macrumors 65816
Jun 18, 2020
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I do remember when this started that Apple was targeting the counterfeit market on Amazon. Remember, it had gotten to the point where you weren’t guaranteed a genuine Apple product even if it was shipped by Amazon. (It was especially bad with things like USB power bricks and the Lightning to 3.5mm dongle, I got bit by a counterfeit one of the latter from Amazon around that time.)
 

jhfenton

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Dec 11, 2012
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I do remember when this started that Apple was targeting the counterfeit market on Amazon. Remember, it had gotten to the point where you weren’t guaranteed a genuine Apple product even if it was shipped by Amazon. (It was especially bad with things like USB power bricks and the Lightning to 3.5mm dongle, I got bit by a counterfeit one of the latter from Amazon around that time.)
It was bad. I received a pair of counterfeit EarPods from an Amazon purchase. The packaging was intended to mimic Apple's, but was not quite there, and the same for the headphones themselves. But they had fooled Amazon into stocking them in their "Fulfilled by Amazon" third-party seller program.

Edited: It was April 2014.
 

Mousse

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Apr 7, 2008
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Glad this was reversed since Apple and Amazon were trying to stop counterfeit products.
If you think Amazon makes any real effort to stop counterfeits then I've got a bridge to sell ya.😏 Put a tollbooth at both ends and y'all be raking in the dough in no time.

I've read hundreds of reviews on Amazon where customers were shipped counterfeits. That's only on the stuff I was interested in buying. They're are probably thousands or millions others who have been had despite Amazon's stringent🤣🤣 anti-counterfeiting🤣🤣 efforts.
 
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ackmondual

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Dec 23, 2014
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I take it in Italy, they also have to worry about counterfeits like we do in the US? I purchased some electronics stuff from Amazon in previous years, but since I'm off Amazon Prime, I tend to just buy directly from manufacturers' sites. Either way, it looks like Apple got their way.
 

jimbobb24

macrumors 68040
Jun 6, 2005
3,049
4,855
If you think Amazon makes any real effort to stop counterfeits then I've got a bridge to sell ya.😏 Put a tollbooth at both ends and y'all be raking in the dough in no time.

I've read hundreds of reviews on Amazon where customers were shipped counterfeits. That's only on the stuff I was interested in buying. They're are probably thousands or millions others who have been had despite Amazon's stringent🤣🤣 anti-counterfeiting🤣🤣 efforts.
It is both possible that amazon makes a real effort and that counterfeits get through. For example we make a real effort to stop crime but some crime still occurs.
 

1557750

Cancelled
Jul 18, 2022
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I don’t think they were in the wrong. I do believe Apple only wants genuine accessories and so forth sold by others.

Amazon is a monster. I’ve had maybe 5% worth of bad experiences with them. Where something isn’t the brand I was buying and nowhere matches the description.

I truly think they have gotten “too big for their britches” as my great grandmother use to say. I don’t think monitoring everything their vendors sell is even in their wheelhouse anymore. Maybe I’m wrong and they can fix their issues. But it’s getting worse.
 

rpmurray

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Feb 21, 2017
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Amazon is a monster. I’ve had maybe 5% worth of bad experiences with them. Where something isn’t the brand I was buying and nowhere matches the description.
Back when I was younger and more naive I used to think that the reviews on Amazon for a product were for the product the reviews are under. Then I wised up and realized that Amazon mixes reviews for similar products and different sellers all in the same pot.
 

PlayUltimate

macrumors 6502a
Jul 29, 2016
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For something where the brand actually matters, I have a tendency to look outside of Amazon. And if I use Amazon, I will intentionally only purchase if "Sold by Amazon." Nothing, in general, against third parties; just got burned too often.
 
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TheDailyApple

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May 30, 2019
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If you think Amazon makes any real effort to stop counterfeits then I've got a bridge to sell ya.😏 Put a tollbooth at both ends and y'all be raking in the dough in no time.

I've read hundreds of reviews on Amazon where customers were shipped counterfeits. That's only on the stuff I was interested in buying. They're are probably thousands or millions others who have been had despite Amazon's stringent🤣🤣 anti-counterfeiting🤣🤣 efforts.
I don’t think anyone would argue against the fact that Amazon has a huge counterfeit issue. However, that is precisely why Apple brokered a deal with Amazon whereby Amazon.com could be an authorized Apple reseller in exchange for not allowing third party sellers of Apple’s products. This insured that the Apple products sold would be real. Previously to that, I would never have considered buying Apple products from Amazon.
 
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chipchen

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Oct 30, 2002
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The irony is that Italy knows all too well about counterfeit high-end products being sold.
 

rpmurray

macrumors 68020
Feb 21, 2017
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And if I use Amazon, I will intentionally only purchase if "Sold by Amazon."
That's not a guarantee. Amazon can and will mix what purport to be the same items, from multiple suppliers, some of which can be quite sketchy indeed. So if you're trying to order XXX brand toaster and amazon has multiple suppliers for it, all it takes is for one of them to be selling counterfeits.
 

Porco

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Mar 28, 2005
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Apple and Amazon up the ante as antsy Italian anti-antitrust antics announced.
 
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kc9hzn

macrumors 65816
Jun 18, 2020
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I don’t think they were in the wrong. I do believe Apple only wants genuine accessories and so forth sold by others.

Amazon is a monster. I’ve had maybe 5% worth of bad experiences with them. Where something isn’t the brand I was buying and nowhere matches the description.

I truly think they have gotten “too big for their britches” as my great grandmother use to say. I don’t think monitoring everything their vendors sell is even in their wheelhouse anymore. Maybe I’m wrong and they can fix their issues. But it’s getting worse.
Amazon definitely has sold (fulfilled by Amazon, no less) dodgy game console emulators bundled with ROMs (which would be such an easy thing to check). There’s a bunch of dodgy health products labeled “negative ion” (that contain ionizing radiation emitters), there’s all sorts of barely legal and actually-possibly-illegal-depending-on-where-you-live products on Amazon. (Yet, I got a recommendation for an “EDC” survival guide the other day that couldn’t be shipped to my state, yet another listing from the same seller, one with an actual knife, could be shipped. Clearly, Amazon was blocking the wrong item, either due to a bug or mischecked listings, but still. Amazon just doesn’t care, does it?)
 
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kc9hzn

macrumors 65816
Jun 18, 2020
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It was bad. I received a pair of counterfeit EarPods from an Amazon purchase. The packaging was intended to mimic Apple's, but was not quite there, and the same for the headphones themselves. But they had fooled Amazon into stocking them in their "Fulfilled by Amazon" third-party seller program.

Edited: It was April 2014.
For me, it was around late 2020, so it’s still a problem! And it’s a bigger problem for non-Apple stuff because Apple’s efforts have cut down on some of the counterfeits.
 
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kc9hzn

macrumors 65816
Jun 18, 2020
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You don't know how disappointed I was to find out that the Mona Lisa painting I purchased from a street vendor wasn't the real thing.
Seems like you too paid a visit to Crazy Redd’s! /animal-crossing

The funny thing about art is that an especially well done counterfeit can actually have value, too, especially pre-modern counterfeits, counterfeits painted by especially notorious forgers, or forgeries with a particularly interesting providence. Alas, that’s not particularly true of bootleg electronics, which usually are slapdash affairs (while counterfeit clothing and accessories usually are pretty close to the real deal, since fashion is easily copied).
 
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