Countries have really started to pay attention to how big companies make their money and how they compete against growing companies and individuals. Apple and Google are currently under investigation by the US Department of Justice, and this process may even force Apple to develop a new search engine. Now, Apple is once again under the spotlight, this time alongside Amazon, as they are set to face antitrust scrutiny in Germany over policies that stop individuals from selling Apple products on Amazon.
According to a recent report from Bloomberg, Germany’s antitrust regulator has gone against Apple and Amazon over the policy of “brandgating,” which allows the makers of branded products to have independent sellers removed from the retail platform.
“Brandgating agreements can help to protect against product piracy,” the Cartel Office said in a statement. “But such measures must be proportionate to be in line with antitrust rules and may not result in eliminating competition.”
Now, Amazon said that it never removes sales permission without justified reasons, and it invests in protecting customers from the illegal distribution of goods. Amazon has only allowed Apple authorized vendors to sell Cupertino’s products on its platform since 2019, which is also the time when Amazon became an Apple authorized vendor. Still, the company has agreed to cooperate with the investigation.
“The safety of our customers is our first priority, and our teams are constantly working with law enforcement, resellers, and e-commerce sites around the world to remove counterfeit products from the market,” Apple said in a statement. “We work with Amazon to protect our customers from counterfeit products and provide confidence they are receiving a genuine Apple product out of the box.”
Now, we can only wait for the outcome of this investigation and see what Germany decides to do if it decides that Apple and Amazon are negatively affecting competition.