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FTC is investigating Apple-Amazon deal to sell products

At the end of last year, we spoke here about an indictment between the Apple and the Amazon which led Ma (and its authorized dealers) to sell products for the first time directly from the world's largest retailer in several countries.

A few days later, we also talked about the crisis this would create in the shadow market, as hundreds of unauthorized Apple retailers, several with Amazon traditions, would be thrown out of the market and banned from marketing Ma's products if not. if they joined a company, which in many cases was not an option.

It is precisely this problem that is yielding an investigation against the two giants. How did you bring the The verge, a Federal Trade Commission (FTC, that is, the Federal Trade Commission of the United States) has launched a special clearance to examine whether the deal between Apple and Amazon has been detrimental to small merchants in any way that violates US law.

So far, the agency has not made any formal accusations of antitrust practice against the two, but is listening to the parties involved in the imbroglio to know in detail the causes and consequences of the incident. An unauthorized Apple reseller, John Bumstead, said he met with FTC lawyers and economists to explain the deal's impact on his business. He had to leave Amazon Marketplace and, selling the products on other platforms, made a serious profit. diminished.

Several experts heard by The verge They stated that the agreement between the giants, in fact, is fertile ground for an antitrust charge. Just look at what Sally Hubbard, market analysis expert and director of the OpenMarkets Institute said, about a practice known as Brand-gating which, according to her, is very common on Amazon:

You put a fence around a brand and say that all of its sellers will no longer be able to sell their products on that platform unless they are given a brand authorization. But of course the brand will not let you sell the products below the minimum price set. The problem is that it is illegal under antitrust law.

Apple and Amazon have not commented on the case, and it will take the FTC a few months before it comes to any verdict on the whole thing. Let's wait carefully.

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