Apple and Amazon have been fined in Italy for their Beats headphones

Image credit: Engadget

Amazon and Apple have been penalised more than €200 million (£168 million) by Italy’s competition commission for allegedly breaking competition rules.

The fine is for Beats headphones, which Apple purchased for $3 billion (£1.8 billion) in 2014. Only chosen resellers could sell the products on Amazon’s Italian website under a 2018 agreement between the internet titans.

Both Apple and Amazon have stated that they intend to appeal the penalty.

According to the Italian Competition Authority, the acts of the two corporations also violated European Union laws and harmed pricing competition. It ordered the two businesses to lift the limits and provide access to resellers in a nondiscriminatory way.

“We feel we have done nothing wrong,” Apple said, adding that it respected the watchdog’s judgement.

A spokeswoman for the company stated that non-genuine products provide a subpar experience and are frequently harmful.

To ensure that our customers buy authentic Apple products, we work closely with our reseller partners and have dedicated teams of professionals working with law enforcement, customs, and merchants around the world to ensure that only genuine Apple products are sold.

Apple claims that partnering with certain resellers improves customer safety by ensuring that products are genuine.

Amazon stated the Italian authorities’ decision was disproportionate and unreasonable, and that its part of the proposed penalties (€68.7 million) was disproportionate and unfair.

“We dispute the claim that Amazon gains by banning vendors from our site because our business model is dependent on their success,” a company spokeswoman said.

The agreement in question more than doubled the catalogue of products available to Italian customers, according to the company, and resulted in better deals and faster shipment.

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