After 16 months of investigation and inspection, the Italian Antimonopoly Agency finally decided to impose a fine of more than 200 million euros ($228 million) on Amazon and Apple. While Amazon got a fine of 68.7 million euros ($77 million), Apple gets a fine of up to 134.5 million euros ($151 million). As we all expect, both Apple and Amazon do not agree with the decision.
According to the Italian Antimonopoly Agency, some clauses in the “restrictive agreement” signed by the two companies in 2018 prohibit official and unofficial distributors of Apple and Beats products from using amazon.it. The agreement harms consumers and some sellers’ interests as well as violates free competition. This is also in violation of Italian law and European standards.
This agreement excludes retailers that do not have affiliation with Apple from Amazon’s Italian website. Thus, sales of Apple and Beats branded products are reserved for Apple, Amazon, and only authorized retailers. This approach prevents unauthorized (independent) retailers from selling through Amazon. This is irrespective of whether they purchased the products legally from wholesalers.
The Italian Antimonopoly Agency believes that the agreement between Amazon and Apple has killed unauthorized resellers. It also creates “a major barrier for unofficial resellers to enter the online sales market”. Furthermore, it reduces the online supply of Apple and Beats products.
Brazil to fine Apple for not having a charger in the iPhone 13 package
The Brazilian consumer protection organization said it would fine Apple for refusing to include a charger with the iPhone 13 and it’s obliged to provide a charger for everyone free of charge.
According to the Brazilian publication TechTudo, the $ 1.9 million fine is the maximum under the country’s law. However, the company can not appeal this decision after less than six months.
Six months after the first fine, Apple launch new iPhones, and Brazil again intends to fine the company. The regulator claims that consumers expect to receive a smartphone with a charger for the price quoted by the manufacturer. The need to buy a charger for a separate fee looks like an overstatement.
The curious part of this fine is that it is not coming because Apple did not include a charger. The fine is coming because the company did not inform the customers about the removal of the charger.
It’s worth noting that Apple says on its website that the iPhone does not come with a charger, but the regulator says that is not enough, stating that this information should be ostentatious and not hidden.