According to a complaint filed in the United States, Apple and Amazon entered into an agreement in 2019 to illegally exclude third-party sellers of Apple products from the Amazon Marketplace. Thus, the two firms would have maintained high prices on iPhones and iPads.
iPhone 14 Pro Max // Source: Anthony Wonner – Aroged
Did Apple and Amazon forge a secret and illicit pact on the selling prices of iPhones and iPads? This is the whole question that the American justice will try to answer after a complaint filed by the law firm Hagens Berman, specializing in class actions (collective actions).
But the charges are serious. According to the complaint, Apple and Amazon entered into an illegal agreement to reduce “the competitive threat posed by third-party merchants.” The plaintiffs even put forward a few figures.
Drastic decrease in the number of competing sellers
They claim that the number of third-party sellers of Apple products on the Amazon Marketplace has fallen from 600 to just 7, a decrease of 98%. It would be partly thanks to this that Amazon would have become the main seller of Apple products on the Marketplace.
Hagens Berman says that if you bought an iPhone or iPad from Amazon between 2019 and today, “you probably paid too much because of a pricing arrangement between Apple and Amazon designed to artificially inflate costs.” .
According to our investigation, Amazon and Apple colluded to unlawfully restrict the number of sellers of Apple iPhones and iPads on the Amazon platform, violating federal antitrust laws. This scheme between Apple and Amazon has resulted in less competition and higher prices for Apple iPhones and iPads purchased through Amazon.com in the US market.
According to the plaintiffs, consumers would be the big losers in this secret agreement. Indeed, the law firm claims that it was previously possible to find 20% lower prices on the Amazon Marketplace, but that now potential buyers are “locked in” to Apple’s premium prices.
This class action aims to obtain a refund for consumers who have paid too much for their iPhone or iPad and to prohibit Amazon from blocking third-party sellers of Apple products as it sees fit.
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