For this reason, the Italian body “applied a penalty of 68.7 million euros to the companies of the Amazon group and 134.5 million euros to those of the Apple group,” according to a statement.
With the agreement reached between the two companies, according to the Antitrust Authority, “only Amazon and certain entities chosen individually and in a discriminatory manner” could operate on the Amazon.it marketplace, in breach of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. The companies of the Amazon group will have to pay 68.7 million euros and those of the Apple group, 134.5 million euros.
Resellers of Apple products
The inquiries revealed “the will to introduce a purely quantitative restriction on the number of resellers, allowing only Amazon and certain entities, identified in a discriminatory manner, to operate on Amazon.it. The restrictions of the agreement have been reflected in the level of discounts practiced by third parties on Amazon.it, decreasing the amount.”
“The restrictive nature of these conducts is confirmed by the fact that Amazon.it represents the e-commerce hub where at least 70% of purchases of consumer electronics in Italy are made, of which at least 40% is represented by retailers that use Amazon as an intermediation platform,” it adds in a statement on its website.
European competition rules
Antitrust stresses that “it is essential that the application of competition rules ensures a level playing field for all retailers that use marketplaces as an increasingly important place for the development of their commercial activities, especially in the current context, avoiding discriminatory conduct that restricts competition.”
Therefore, the agency’s decision “recognizes, in line with the case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union, the need for distribution systems, in order to be compatible with competition rules, to be based on qualitative criteria, non-discriminatory and applied indiscriminately to all potential retailers.