Spain’s competition watchdog fines Apple, Amazon $218 million

Spain’s competition watchdog fined Apple and Amazon a total of 194 million euros (about $218 million) Tuesday for unfairly restricting competition around the reselling and marketing of Apple products and other products on the e-commerce giant’s local e-commerce marketplace, reports TechCrunch. 

The penalties break down into around $161 million for Apple and just under $57 million for Amazon. The country’s competition watchdog, La Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia (CNMC), found that contract clauses the pair agreed “unreasonably restricted” the number of Apple resellers on Amazon’s local marketplace,

It also said they limited advertising space where competing Apple products could be advertised on Amazon Spain and limited the possibility for Amazon to target customers of Apple products using its website with ads for other electronics brands. The watchdog has ordered the pair to cease the infringing behavior, as well as issuing financial penalties.

The CNMC initiated proceedings against Apple and Amazon on July 2. In press release at the time, it said:

• Apple and Amazon could have agreed to trade restrictions on the Amazon website in Spain.

• This would affect the retail sale of Apple products by third parties and the advertising of competing Apple products.

• The companies’ behaviors could reduce competition in the Internet retail market for electronic products.

  • In addition, they could strengthen Amazon’s position in the sector of providing marketing services to third-party retailers through online platforms (Marketplace) in Spain.

Specifically, the possible unlawful conduct would consist of an agreement between both groups that would include possible restrictions on the Amazon website in Spain ( ) regarding: the retail sale of Apple products by third parties; certain advertising of competing Apple products and certain campaigns directed at Apple customers by Amazon; and other commercial restrictions.

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