Spain Antitrust Watchdog Fines Amazon and Apple

In Spain, the local antitrust regulator fined Amazon and Apple.

Spain Antitrust Watchdog Fines Amazon and Apple

The tech giant and the e-commerce giant faced financial measures from the Spanish authorities due to accusations of collusion, the purpose of which was to limit competition on the Amazon website in this European country.

In October 2018, the iPhone manufacturer and the retailer signed two contracts. As a result of these legally executed agreements, Amazon became an authorized Apple dealer. The Spanish antimonopoly regulator claims that the contracts contained clauses that negatively affected the process of competition in the online market of electronic devices in this country. The relevant information is contained in the statement of the supervisory authority, published last Tuesday, July 18.

The regulator fined Apple $143.6 million. In the case of Amazon, the fine amounted to $56.7 million. Companies can appeal this decision of the supervisory authority within two months. Apple and Amazon have the corresponding intentions, as reported by representatives of the firms.

The regulator said that the technology giant and the largest player in the e-commerce market, without any reason, limited the number of sellers of Apple devices on the Spanish Amazon website. As a result of these actions, more than 90% of traders of the American company’s products were blocked on the online platform of the world’s largest retailer.

The regulator also said that Amazon has restricted the advertising of Apple’s competitor’s devices. Separately, the supervisory authority emphasizes that after the signing of contracts between the e-commerce giant and the technology giant, the cost of Tim Cook’s company products increased in Spain.

An Amazon representative said that the regulator’s claims that the retailer benefits by limiting the number of sellers on its trading platform are categorically incorrect since the firm’s business strategy provides that the success of firms interacting with the marketplace contributes to the success of the e-commerce giant. This statement also contains the statement that after the deal with Apple, consumers were in a favorable position, as the number of discounts on the iPad and iPhone increased.

Tim Cook’s company said that the agreement with the e-commerce giant was aimed at reducing the number of counterfeit products sold on online platforms. Prior to signing contracts with Amazon, the company spent a lot of money and effort on sending out a lot of withdrawal from production notices to stop the sale of counterfeit goods.

In October last year, a similar trial against the e-commerce giant and the iPhone manufacturer was launched in Italy. In this country, companies faced a total fine of $224.8 million. But the Italian proceedings ended for the firms without any financial measures of influence and without restrictions regarding business opportunities.

As we have reported earlier, South Korea Fines Google $32 Million.

Serhii Mikhailov

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Serhii’s track record of study and work spans six years at the Faculty of Philology and eight years in the media, during which he has developed a deep understanding of various aspects of the industry and honed his writing skills; his areas of expertise include fintech, payments, cryptocurrency, and financial services, and he is constantly keeping a close eye on the latest developments and innovations in these fields, as he believes that they will have a significant impact on the future direction of the economy as a whole.