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Spain's competition watchdog hits Amazon and Apple with a 194 million euro fine

The logo of Apple is illuminated at a store in the city center in Munich, Germany, Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020.
The logo of Apple is illuminated at a store in the city center in Munich, Germany, Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020. Copyright AP Photo
Copyright AP Photo
By Giulia CarbonaroAFP
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The country's regulator accused the two US tech giants of colluding in the sale of products.

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Spain's anti-trust watchdog announced on Tuesday that it has fined Amazon and Apple a total of €194 million for collusion in the sale of products which "restricted competition", according to a statement by the regulator.

The watchdog, known as CNMC, found that in October 2018 the two US tech giants had agreed to limit the sale of Apple products on Amazon's Spanish websites by third-party resellers, a move which "drastically" reduced competition.

"Over 90 per cent of resellers who used Amazon's website in Spain to sell Apple products were excluded from Spain's main online market", the regulator stated. Only selected resellers chosen by Apple were allowed to sell the company's products on Amazon.es, according to the Spanish competition watchdog.

While Amazon was fined €50.5 million, Apple was fined €143.6 million. The two companies now have two months to appeal the decision.

In an email statement to Reuters, a spokesperson for Amazon said: "We reject the suggestion made by CNMC that Amazon benefits from excluding sellers from its marketplace, as our business model hinges precisely on the success of the companies selling through Amazon."

It's not the first time the two companies have been hit with significant fines by European regulators for unfair competitive behaviour.

Last year, France fined Apple for €371.6 million, and in December 2021 Italy hit Amazon with a €1.1 billion fine for abusing its dominant market position.

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