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Spain puts $209 million fine on hold while Apple and Amazon appeal

Apple Passeig de Gracia store in Spain

The Spanish High Court says it will suspend its fines against Apple and Amazon while the firms appeal against its antitrust regulator's ruling.

Spain's Comision Nacional De Los Mercados Y La Competencia (CNMC) first announced in July 2021 that it was investigating the two companies. The accusation was that the firms unfairly colluded in order to "reduce competition in the Internet retail market for electronic products."

Central to the case was whether there were any deals that saw Apple restricting sales of its products to only itself and to Amazon. By 2023, the CNMC believed it had found sufficient proof that it fined the pair a total of 194.1 million Euros (now $209.2 million).

Both Apple and Amazon said they would appeal the decision and according to Reuters, they have now done just that. Apple has not commented, but an Amazon spokesperson told Reuters that the Spanish High Court's decision to suspend the fine is part of the appeals process.

According to Reuters, the CNMC fined Apple 143.6 million Euros ($154.7 million), and Amazon 50.5 million Euros ($54.42 million).

The CNMC also says that Apple and Amazon signed a contract in 2018 that made Amazon an authorized Apple dealer. This contract allegedly included anti-competitive clauses that the CNMC says prevented over 90% of existing retailers from selling Apple devices on Amazon.

Spain's regulator also alleges that after the contracts were made, Amazon restricted the advertising that Apple's competitors were allowed on its website when users searched for products.

It has not been announced how long Apple and Amazon have to make their appeal, nor when a final ruling can be expected.