The Italian watchdog has opened its third antitrust request to the iPhone manufacturer, focusing on the Cupertino company’s cloud computing services.
There have been allegations of fairness and misconduct in commercial cloud services offered by Apple, Google and Dropbox. And now Reuters revealed in a short news item on Monday that L’Autorit Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato (AGCM), which is Italy’s antitrust authority, has now confirmed that they had opened an investigation into not only Apple, but Google and Dropbox as well over the cloud computing services.
They are being investigated for alleged breach of Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. “The negotiations relate to alleged unfair commercial practices and the possible inclusion of unfair clauses in contract terms,” the statement said.
setteBIT points us to a press release from ACGM, here is a machine translation:
The purpose of the investigation is to determine whether Apple and Amazon have implemented a restrictive agreement to ban the sale of Apple and Beats brands by electronics retailers who do not participate in Apple’s official program, which legitimately buys products from wholesalers and then resells them to retailers.
In the Authority’s view, it appears that the agreement to exclude certain parties from the market has the potential to reduce competition by raising barriers to the sale of online sales markets to the detriment of unofficial dealers, who are usually small and medium-sized businesses selling online using of marketplace services.
No further details were released at this time.
This investigation is separate from Italy’s recent investigation into alleged pricing, which in June accused both Apple and Amazon of preventing the sale of Apple and Beats devices to retailers.
Photo: Apple Piazza Liberty in Milan, Italy