Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Italy imposes fines on Apple and Amazon over the Beats headphones

Amazon and Apple have been penalized over €200m (£168m) by Italy’s competition watchdog. Apple paid $3 billion (£1.8 billion) for Beats headphones in 2014. According to a 2018 deal, only certain resellers could sell the products on Amazon’s Italian website. Apple and Amazon both plan to fight the fines.

The Italian Competition Authority concluded the two companies’ actions harmed pricing competition and broke EU laws. Both firms must remove the limitations and give resellers access “non-discriminatorily.”

According to Apple, it acknowledged the watchdog’s conclusion but “believes we have done nothing wrong.” Apple said partnering with approved merchants assures product authenticity and customer safety. Non-authentic items are “substandard and often hazardous,” a spokesman argued.

Law enforcement, customs, and merchants around the world work together to ensure that only genuine Apple items have sold. Amazon said the proposed €68.7m fine over beats headphones was “disproportionate and unwarranted” and that it strongly disagreed with the Italian authority’s decision.

We reject the claim that Amazon benefits from eliminating sellers from our store because our business model depends on their success. It stated the deal “more than doubled” the product catalogue available to Italian customers and “improved deals and shipping”.

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