Apple & Amazon's $195M Italian antitrust fine dismissed

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An administrative court judge in Italy has canceled a 200 million Euro retail collusion fine levied on Apple and Amazon.

In November 2021, L'Autorit Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato had imposed fines against Apple and Amazon following an investigation into collusion. The fine was levied over accusations the two cooperated to prevent price cuts from other vendors.

Apple had received a fine of 134.5 million euros ($131.5M), while Amazon was hit for 68.7 million euros ($67.2M).

Those fines were previously recalculated in January after a "material error" was discovered, reduced to a combined total of 173.3 million euros ($169.5M). However, a document seen by Reuters indicates the Italian administrative court has now scrapped the fines in their entirety.

In responding to the change, Amazon welcomed the court's decision. Apple didn't have an immediate comment for the publication. The regulator declined to comment.

The fines stemmed from accusations that Apple and Amazon had made an agreement to restrict competition, in part by preventing the sale of Apple and Beats-branded products by retailers that are not taking part in Apple's official program. After investigating in 2020 whether the two tech giants contravened Article 101 of the Treaty on the Function of the EU, prohibiting cartels and agreements affecting free competition, the regulator laid down the fines against both Apple and Amazon.

At the time, Apple and Amazon rejected the ruling and vowed to appeal.

This isn't Apple's only run-in with the regulator, as it previously was fined over claims of planned obsolescence and battery slowdowns. It has also complained about Apple's terms for iCloud, and fined Apple and Google 10 million euros ($9.76M) over the apparent misuse of user data.