Gafa: Italy fines Apple and Amazon 200 million euros

Posted on Nov 23, 2021, 6:37 PM

A heavy fine, which extends the list of sanctions of EU countries against heavyweights in tech. Amazon and Apple were ordered on Tuesday to pay 200 million euros by the Italian competition gendarme. The antitrust believes that the two internet giants have restricted access to the Amazon platform of certain resellers of Apple products.

In detail, the companies of the Amazon group were fined 68.7 million euros, and those of the Apple group of 134.5 million euros. The investigation of the Italian authority has established that “certain clauses of the contract signed on October 31, 2018 prohibiting official and unofficial resellers of Apple and Beats products from using the platform” violated the law European.

These sanctions, contested by the two companies, come as Brussels seeks to better regulate the Gafa sector. On the same day, the European Parliament adopted a draft regulation on digital markets (“Digital Markets Act”, DMA), to better regulate the Internet and put an end to the abuses of power by the giants of the sector.

Amazon and Apple will appeal

“We strongly disagree with the decision and we will appeal,” responded Amazon in a statement, calling the sanction “unjustified and disproportionate.” The group denies benefiting from the exclusion of resellers “because our business model is based on their success”. “We believe we have done nothing wrong and we will present an appeal,” said Apple for its part, ensuring that it is committed to “the safety of our customers and the integrity of the products they buy.”

The Italian regulator recalls that the case law of the Court of Justice of the EU establishes that “distribution systems, to be compatible with competition rules, must be based on criteria of a qualitative, non-discriminatory nature and apply equally to all potential resellers ”. A behavior that Amazon and Apple did not respect according to the regulator, all the more serious “that at least 70% of purchases of consumer electronics products in Italy” are made on Amazon.

The Gafa in the sights of many other countries

The Italian gendarme of competition is used to this kind of sanctions. In May, he imposed a fine of 102 million euros on Google for abuse of a dominant position, calling into question its refusal to accept on its Google Play platform a third-party application to find charging stations for electric cars. .

This latest investigation will also have served as a model “for the national competition authorities in Germany and Spain who have also launched similar proceedings”, assures the Italian competition policeman. Indeed, other countries, European and several American States, have launched investigations and prosecutions against Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, the famous GAFA, which they accuse of abusing a dominant position in their various markets, social networks to digital advertising to online commerce.

With AFP

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