Italy imposes about 26.4 billion yen on Amazon and Apple for resale of Beats products | Today Nation News

TechnologyItaly imposes about 26.4 billion yen on Amazon and...

Amazon and Apple have been investigating the resale of Apple and (Apple-owned) Beats products on Amazon’s Italian e-commerce marketplace, with a total of about $ 230 million from Italian anti-trust authorities. A fine of (about 26.4 billion yen) was imposed.

Authorities suspect that the two companies have colluded to reduce the level of discounts available to consumers buying Apple and Beats products on the Amazon Italian marketplace.

They also ordered both companies to remove restrictions on resellers.

AGCM (Italian Competition and Market Protection Commission) announced sanctions on November 23, local time, to prevent “legitimate” resellers of some Beats products on Amazon.it as a result of the investigation. He said it turned out that there was a restriction agreement between the two companies.

The breakdown of the sanctions is 134.5 million euros (about 17.4 billion yen) for Amazon and 68.7 million euros (about 8.9 billion yen) for Apple.

The agreement in question was signed between the two companies in October 2018.

According to an AGCM press release, the agreement contains a number of terms and conditions prohibiting official and informal resellers of Apple and Beats products from using Amazon.it. There is a restriction that Amazon.it sells Apple and Beats products to Amazon and some resellers that the authorities say are “individually and discriminatory”, which is the European Union. Violates Article 101 of the Convention on Function.

“Our research shows that we intend to put a purely quantitative limit on the number of retailers so that only certain retailers selected in a way that differentiates us from Amazon can sell on Amazon.it. “It turned out,” the authorities wrote in the release (TechCrunch translated Italian into Google Translate).

“The terms of the agreement also limit cross-border sales because retailers are geographically discriminated against. The restrictions on the agreement affect the level of discounts offered by third parties on Amazon.it. , Reduced the degree of the discount. “

Authorities point out that Amazon’s local marketplace accounts for at least 70% of consumer electronics purchases in the country, of which “at least 40% are retailers using Amazon as an intermediary platform.”

“Therefore, the application of competition rules is fair, avoiding discriminatory behavior that limits competition, for all retailers who use the marketplace as an increasingly important place for commercial activity, especially in today‘s situation. It seems essential to secure good competitive conditions. “

“From this point of view, the authorities’ decision is that the sales system is not discriminatory and applies equally to all potential resellers in order to comply with the rules of competition, in line with the judgment of the EU Court of Justice. We acknowledge the need for standards. “

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In addition, Italian authorities have pointed out that German and Spanish competition authorities have begun similar procedures in light of an investigation into the Amazon-Apple agreement.

Spain’s Comisión National de los Mercados y la Competencia announced the possibility of disciplinary action against Amazon and Apple this summer and launched its own investigation (up to 18 months to complete). Has been).

Meanwhile, in 2018, Germany’s Bundeskartellamt (Federal Cartel Office) began fraudulent proceedings against Amazon in response to complaints from Amazon marketplace sellers. Amazon closed the process the following year, 2019, after amending general trading conditions for sellers and promising additional changes to reduce competitive concerns.

Most recently, the Federal Cartel Agency has begun reviewing the market power of both companies following a major revision of Germany’s competition law on digital platforms. If the law confirms that both companies are “extremely important to market competition,” the Federal Cartel Agency will say that Amazon and Apple will operate in Germany to limit the risk of market abuse. Preliminary measures that positively impose conditions on the can be applied.

We asked Amazon and Apple to comment on this AGCM decision.

At the time of this writing, there was no response from Apple, but Amazon has announced that it will appeal, and a spokeswoman issued the following statement.

“We strongly oppose the decision of the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) and will appeal. The proposed fines are disproportionate and unjustified.

Because our business model depends on the success of our sellers, we cannot accept ICA’s point that Amazon is profiting from removing sellers from our store. As a result of the agreement, Italian customers will be able to find the latest Apple and Beats products in our stores, benefiting from a more than doubled catalog with better prices and faster delivery. “

Amazon also argued that the deal with Apple was beneficial to consumers, showing more Apple products available for purchase on the marketplace and individual cases where discounts were applied to some Apple products. bottom.

Amazon states that its marketplace is less than 1% of the global retail market and that there are larger retailers in every country in which it operates, including Italy, and any market power. Is also trying to deny. Companies also claim to have multiple channels, both online and in-store, to sell Apple products.

He added that about 60% of Amazon’s marketplace sales are made up of third-party sellers, including about 18,000 Italian SMEs selling on Amazon.

Image Credit: Brian Heater

[To the original text]

(Sentence: Natasha Lomas, Translation:saurabh


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