Did Apple and Amazon “conspire” to raise the price of the iPhone?

Apple non aumenterà la produzione degli iPhone 14: vendite insufficienti thumbnail

Apple e Amazon they would “conspire” to raise the price of iPhone and iPad, eliminating the sellers on Amazon who offered the products at the lowest prices: these are the antitrust charges filed in Washington. For the law firm Hagen’s Bermanwho filed a complaint, this deal reduced the number of third-party vendors from more than 600 to only 7.

Apple and Amazon would conspire to raise the price of iPhones and iPads

According to the law firm filing the complaint, Apple and Amazon have entered into an “illegal horizontal agreement” that would have “reduced the competitive threat posed by third-party merchants“. This would violate the federal antitrust laws of the United States for the whistleblower.

Amazon allegedly began eliminating third-party sellers after signing a 2019 deal with Apple to limit sellers of Apple products on the Marketplace at 20 per nation. In return, Apple would provide Amazon discounts for iPhones and iPads.

This agreement would have made Apple the dominant seller in every nation, eliminating those who made greater discounts on Apple’s smartphones and tablets. Something that according to the indictment “benefited both” companies, while “harming consumers”. Because the prosecution thinks that Amazon has not just eliminated dishonest or untrustworthy sellers, it has limited the number of resellers to obtain an economic advantage.

The filed complaint says Apple’s products from third-party sellers were “Discounted up to 20%”, although it is not clear if it refers to older products or in particular periods such as during Black Friday. Should you go before a judge, further data could possibly arrive.

In the meantime, it appears that the Hagens Berman study aims to prevent blocking of third-party vendors. But it also asks refunds to consumers for “too expensive iPhones and iPads”.

Amazon and Apple have not responded to the allegations. And in all likelihood they will avoid doing so unless a judge listens to these allegations.