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Spain’s watchdog CNMC (ComisiĆ³n Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia) alleges Apple and Amazon committed price fixing. The allegations pushed the regulator to fine the two companies 194.1 million euros ($218.03 million), citing two contracts they signed in 2018 that reportedly had anti-competitive clauses. (via Reuters)

“The two companies restricted without justification the number of sellers of Apple products on the Amazon website in Spain,” said Spain’s antitrust regulator.

According to the CNMC, the agreement between the two made Amazon an authorized Apple dealer. However, this reportedly restricted other sellers from reaching customers on Amazon’s website. According to the watchdog, 90% of the retailers on the platform selling Apple devices were blocked as a result of the deal. Amazon also allegedly decreased the ad presence of Apple’s competitors in search results for Apple devices and the access of non-Spanish retailers in the EU to Spanish customers. The competition regulator said this resulted in higher device prices in Spain.

Apple and Amazon will have two months to make an appeal about these allegations, and both have already confirmed their intentions to do so. Apple also explained that the actions were meant to help reduce the number of counterfeit products online, citing its previous efforts in battling such products. Meanwhile, Amazon countered CNMC’s claims about how the actions benefit the company.

“We reject the suggestion made by CNMC that Amazon benefits from excluding sellers from its market place, as our business model hinges precisely on the success of the companies selling through Amazon,” an Amazon spokesperson said.


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