back to article Apple, Amazon fined to the tune of €200m for colluding over Beats headphones sales

Italy's competition authority has fined Apple and Amazon €200m after deciding the pair colluded to unfairly restrict the supply of Apple products and Beats headphones in the Euro nation. At issue was a contract between Apple and Amazon, signed October 31, 2018, that restricted the sale of Cupertino's electronics and Beats- …

  1. simonlb
    Trollface

    That's Terrible

    Not being able to buy overpriced Apple and Beats branded tat online.

    It's a disgrace.

    1. Oh Matron!

      Re: That's Terrible

      Try doing this with Levi Jeans.

      Remember back in the 90s when Tesco tried to flog them?

      'mericans have a track record with this. It's not just Apple. Try buying a pair of bose....

      1. Geoff Campbell
        Facepalm

        Re: That's Terrible

        It's always amused me just how resistant the arch capitalists are to proper free-market economies once you scratch the surface.

        GJC

        1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

          It's a proven fact that as soon as you attain a majority of the market you become extremely hostile to anything that makes you work to keep it that way.

      2. Tim Almond

        Re: That's Terrible

        But who really cares? People who buy this stuff were clearly lucky to ever get together with their money in the first place. That Dr Dre or Tim Cook take it and stick it in their pockets is just restoring balance.

        For any fashion brand product, there's a cheaper product that does the same thing out there for less.

      3. CountCadaver

        Re: That's Terrible

        Ditto Oakleys, where even within Europe its seemingly ok to have pricing disparities...

        1. DS999 Silver badge

          Italy will NEVER go after them

          Oakley is part of the Italy based Luxottica monopoly. Like most governments, they only have a problem with monopolies in other countries, and look the other way when their own companies are doing even worse things in the rest of the world.

  2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    To ensure our customers purchase genuine products"

    Are they saying other allegedly Apple products on sale through other outlets aren't genuine? If so somebody must be making an exorbitant markup on £400 wheels.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Tried buying SanDisk memory cards on Amazon

      You can see Apple's point. Apple own Beats, if they choose not to sell.on Amazon, or to be the only seller, you know that if you buy Beats in an Apple store or from Apple's Amazon store they are genuine.

      If every Dell Boy is allowed to sell Beats on Amazon then 90% will be fake, and even if you buy from Apple, Amazon will co-mingle stock so you are likely to get fakes

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I think you're missing the problem. Apple stopped Amazon selling Beats from authorised resellers. If amazon wants to stop del boy beats it just blocks anyone not authorised from selling beats. Problem solved. In fact Amazon could do that with a lot of stock but it chooses not to so it can make more money.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Agreed that Amazon sells (or proxies) a lot of fakes. Which is legal because of section 230 - freedom to fake freely. So since Apple can't sue Amazon for selling fake Apple goods, obviously the only choice they have is to conspire with each other.

  3. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge
    Coat

    It is understood, like Apple, Amazon plans to contest its fine

    They want to contest the amount of the fine ... This means they are not contesting the charges/accusations?

  4. elsergiovolador Silver badge

    Competition

    It's funny that the regulators are focusing on tiny non-issues instead of addressing the real problem - like big corporations paying less tax than SMEs - in effect having a huge competitive advantage.

    If competition authority was serious, they should just ban the business until it stops using tax avoidance structures and pays taxes like everyone else.

    1. ElRegioLPL

      Re: Competition

      We live in a county that has a fairly good postal system and the government chose to use Amazon to deliver COVID tests. That tells you what side they are on.

      1. Martin Summers

        Re: Competition

        I think the fact they used Royal Mail to deliver the tests back to the test centre from post boxes tells you everything you need to know without being silly about it. Royal Mail quite obviously wasn't up to the task of doing both. Amazon provably, consistently and reliably do next day delivery. Royal Mail, not so much in my experience. Not everything is a conspiracy.

        1. msobkow Silver badge

          Re: Competition

          Depends where in the world you live. I'm in Canada, but Saskatchewan is considered to be the middle of nowhere by the powers that decree where shipping centers go, so that "next day" delivery doesn't always happen. If it comes out of a center in Calgary or Vancouver, yes, but not if it comes out of the East end of the country - it isn't like they're going to air-ship your pair of socks. *LOL*

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: Competition

            Saskatchewan doesn't exist it's a conspiracy to try and stop people from Toronto reaching Vancouver

          2. JassMan Silver badge

            Re: Competition

            When I was semi-permanently living in France (pre-Brexit), on the few occasions I ordered from Amazon, they never managed their next day delivery promise if ordered before xx o'oclock. The reason being that although their fulfilment centre is less than 250km by road, their logistics insist on sending everything via Paris, Lyon then St. Etienne. A round trip of well over 1500km along with several transfers along the way. Usually they took 3-4 days. The record was 8 days because there was some local flooding between Lyon and St.Etienne, which is a route they never should have used in the first place.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Competition

          We get our Amazon next-day deliveries via Royal Mail.

          1. Martin Summers

            Re: Competition

            "We get our Amazon next-day deliveries via Royal Mail."

            Yeah cos Amazon are paying them to fill in a small proportion. Amazing what they can do for a cash incentive.

            1. This post has been deleted by its author

              1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

                Re: Competition

                Or perhaps in lieu of taxes ?

  5. Potemkine! Silver badge

    that amount to just a few hours of profit

    Rule of acquisition #97: Enough is never enough.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Enough is never enough

      ...unless you are the proud owner of a tinned nuff (net weight 4 ounces.) Then it is definitely a nuff.

      *With apologies to Mssrs. Secombe and Sellers

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        You still get it in tins?

        eNuff can be streamed directly to your device

      2. vogon00

        Upvoted for the apology to Mssrs. Secombe and Sellers, and the reminder to re-listen to the Goon Show.

  6. Belperite
    Black Helicopters

    "an Apple spokesperson told The Register"

    Icon ->

    1. A. Coatsworth
      Mushroom

      Re: "an Apple spokesperson told The Register"

      Did I really read that in the note?

      Well, it's official now: world is coming to an end. Not sure if should feel scared or relieved

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: "an Apple spokesperson told The Register"

        Fake news, it was just Dabbsie in a black polo neck

    2. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: "an Apple spokesperson told The Register"

      I wonder how high that had to be escalated?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not a problem for me..

    I'll stick with Sennheiser, thank you.

    :)

  8. msobkow Silver badge

    I don't fathom the sheer greed involved, considering the many billions those corporations already take in every year.

    Is there no point where the greedy ever say, (to paraphrase the inimitable Monty Python) "Piss off, I'm full!"?

  9. Jim Mitchell

    My take on this is that Amazon knows it has a problem with counterfeit goods being sold on its platform, and felt that this was an easy solution to part of that problem. Is the fine less than the cost of actually policing their resellers?

  10. MJI Silver badge

    Fashion brands - who cares

    Beats, some Bose all fashion brands.

    Quick look on Amazon

    Sennheiser - great

    Sony - they do some good ones

    Shure - sure there are some.

    Lots of other good brands including a lot I have not heard of but a quick search says good, some I sort of heard of eg Grado.

    Plenty of decent headphones there.

    Sennheiser user myself.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Of course if numerous countries fined them a day's profit that would soon be serious money. $200m is, like, half a yacht!

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