Spain’s National Markets and Competition Commission (CNMC) fined Apple and Amazon a total of €194.1 million for colluding to limit the online sale of products, putting the companies in direct violation of antitrust laws.
The issue relates to an agreement struck by the technology giants in 2018 which granted Amazon the status of being an authorised Apple dealer in Spain, but also included a number of clauses deemed anti-competitive.
CNMC stated the companies “unreasonably restricted” the number of resellers of Apple products on the Amazon website in Spain and limited advertising spaces where competing products could be shown.
Finally, the pair were judged to have limited the possibility of Amazon directly marketing campaigns to customers of Apple products to offer them competing devices from other brands.
As a result of the clauses, CNMC found more than 90 per cent of resellers who had been using Amazon in the country for the retail sale of Apple products “were excluded from the main online market”.
Competition between resellers was also drastically reduced as the sale of Apple-branded products was concentrated on Amazon itself. This led to an increase in the relative prices paid by consumers, added CNMC.
Furthermore, Amazon reduced the number of retailers in the European Union based outside Spain that could access Spanish consumers.
Apple will have to pay a fine of €143.6 million and Amazon has been hit with a €50.5 million penalty.