Reuters reports that an Italian administrative court has overturned a multi-million dollar fine imposed on Apple and Amazon by the country’s antitrust authority for brandgating.
To prevent merchants from selling counterfeit or fake products, Amazon follows a “brandgating policy which requires third-party merchants to register and full fill the standard criteria to sell branded products on its online retail store.
Although the company argued that the policy protects consumers from fraudulent vendors who are selling poor-quality products for premium prices, in November 2021, the Italian antitrust authority imposed a €200 million ($196 million) fine on Apple and Amazon ruling that the tech giants created an “anti-competitive cooperation in the sale” of Apple and Beats products which violated EU rules and undermined competition on prices.
Both tech companies denied any wrongdoing and appealed the ruling.
Italian Appeals court approves of Amazon’s brandgating policy to stop the sales of counterfeit Apple products
After the initial amount of the fine was reduced to €173.3 million ($170 million) earlier this year due to a “material error” in the calculation, the Italian Appeals court scrapped it all together which inherently approves of Amazon’s brandgating policy.
An Italian administrative court scrapped a fine imposed by the country’s antitrust authority on U.S. tech giants Apple (AAPL.O) and Amazon (AMZN.O) for alleged collusion, a document showed on Monday.
According to the report, “Amazon said in a statement it welcomed the court’s decision”. Before filing the appeal, Amazon said:
“We reject the suggestion that Amazon benefits by excluding sellers from our store, since our business model relies on their success. As a result of the agreement, Italian customers can find the latest Apple and Beats products on our store, benefiting from a catalogue that more than doubled, with better deals and faster shipping.”
Recently, the Cupertino tech giant had another win, when the EU decided not to appeal the court’s ruling in favor of Qualcomm which was given a $991 million fine over the alleged billions of bribes to Apple to provide it LTE and 5G chips to the iPhone.