Wed 24 November 2021:
On Tuesday, Italy’s competition watchdog fined Amazon and Apple a total of 200 million euros ($225 million) in the latest action taken against US tech giants in Europe for their business practices.
It fined Apple 134.5 million euros and e-commerce giant Amazon 68.7 million euros for breaking EU legislation by imposing limitations on Apple and Beats product sellers.
Big IT businesses from the United States have faced a wave of antitrust challenges in Europe, a tactic that is being closely scrutinized by regulators in Washington, which has promised to tighten its grip on the technology industry.
The Italian watchdog said a 2018 deal between the two US companies had “barred official and unofficial resellers of Apple and Beats products from using Amazon.it, allowing the sale of those products in that marketplace only to Amazon and to selected parties in a discriminatory manner.”
The aim had been to restrict the number of retailers and limit cross-border sales, it said.
The agreement spelled bad news for consumers, because at least 70 percent of electronics goods bought in Italy were purchased on Amazon, it added.
The watchdog said its investigation had attracted the attention of “the national competition authorities in Germany and Spain, which have also launched similar procedures.”
With Europe pushing forward with antitrust lawsuits and US policymakers exploring changes to make antitrust enforcement easier, a crackdown on Big Tech businesses might lead to the split of the largest platforms.
Critics in the European Union and the United States want Apple and Google to loosen their grip on their online app markets; more competition in a digital advertising industry controlled by Google and Facebook; and better third-party access to Amazon’s e-commerce platform.
FOLLOW INDEPENDENT PRESS:
TWITTER (CLICK HERE)
FACEBOOK (CLICK HERE)
Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!