World News – CA – Amazon and Apple face antitrust probe in Germany to curb independent sellers


The German antitrust watchdog is investigating Amazon and Apple for engaging in a practice called «  brand-gating’ ‘where Amazon removes lists of independent sellers selling branded products like the Apple iPhone, German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported, highlighting another major antitrust investigation into US tech giants in Europe

As part of a « brand-gating » deal, if a company supplies products to Amazon as a retailer, the e-commerce giant offers them the ability to prevent third-party retailers from selling those products on the amazon market

These agreements can be very far reaching in some cases, excluding all retailers from the sale of a product except Amazon or the manufacturer of the product itself.

The most prominent example of such a deal, according to the report, is the one Amazon has made with Apple, as the iPhone and other Apple products can only be sold in the Amazon marketplace by Apple authorized resellers and Amazon itself

The Federal Cartel Office told Bloomberg that such trademark control agreements « can help protect against product piracy, » but noted that such measures must comply with antitrust rules and must not lead to the elimination of competition

In a statement shared with Bloomberg, Apple defended the practice, saying customer safety is its top priority and that it is working with « e-commerce sites around the world to remove counterfeit products from the market, » adding that it works with Amazon to ensure the confidence of its customers « they receive a genuine Apple product out of the box »

Amazon’s dual role as a retailer and marketplace platform for third-party sellers has exerted constant antitrust control over the company The e-commerce giant has been accused of influencing search results on its site and using data from third-party sellers to compete directly with them.In August, the German antitrust watchdog began investigating Amazon for allegedly set the prices of items sold by third party retailers on the site The European Union has also considered formal antitrust charges against Amazon for its treatment of third-party sellers.But in April, US lawmakers asked the company to clarify whether it had lied to Congress about the methods it uses against its competitors on its platform, accusing the company of using data generated by third-party vendors to develop competing products Apple is facing antitrust review on its own digital storefront where it charges third-party developers a reduction in 30% on all sales while in some cases offering competing products and services

In the US Amazon has had major fallout with sportswear brand Nike for failing to « brand protect » Nike products Last year, Nike halted direct sales on Amazon after initially agreeing to do the same in 2017 in exchange for stricter monitoring of counterfeits and unlicensed third-party vendors. According to the Wall Street Journal, Nike was unhappy with Amazon’s inability to rid itself of fakes and the presence of “gray market” sellers who would resell legitimate merchandise purchased from distributors or retailers

I am a reporter for the latest news at Forbes, and I focus on important information on technology policy and business Graduated from Columbia University with a Masters in Commerce and

I am a reporter for the latest news at Forbes, and I focus on important information on technology policy and business Graduated from Columbia University with Masters in Business and Economic Journalism in 2019 Worked as a journalist in New Delhi, India from 2014 to 2018 Got any news tip? DMs are open on Twitter @SiladityaRay or email me at siladitya @ protonmailcom

Apple, Amazoncom, Competition Law, Federal Cartel Office

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