The Italian Competition Authority has hit Apple with a $151 million fine and Amazon with a $77.29 million penalty.

The Italy fine comes just two weeks after a European Union court rejected a Google appeal against a 2.4-billion-euro antitrust fine.
The Italy fine comes just two weeks after a European Union court rejected a Google appeal against a 2.4-billion-euro antitrust fine. (Reuters)

Italy's competition watchdog has imposed fines totalling over $225 million (200 million euros) on Amazon and Apple in the latest action taken against US tech giants in Europe over their business practices.

The watchdog on Tuesday ordered Apple to pay 134.5 million euros and e-commerce firm Amazon 68.7 million euros for infringing EU laws through restrictions which penalised sellers of Apple and Beats products.

The Italian watchdog said a 2018 deal between the two US companies had "barred official and unofficial resellers of Apple and Beats products from using Amazon.it, allowing the sale of those products in that marketplace only to Amazon and to selected parties in a discriminatory manner".

The aim had been to restrict the number of retailers and limit cross-border sales, it said.

READ MORE: EU hits Apple with antitrust lawsuit after complaints from Spotify

Plans to appeal against the fines

Both Amazon and Apple said they intended to appeal against the fines.

"We strongly disagree with the decision.... and we intend to appeal," Amazon said in a statement, adding that the fine was "disproportionate and unjustified".

In its statement, Apple said it believed "we have done nothing wrong" and the agreement was part of efforts to ensure only genuine products were being sold through reseller partners.

US big tech firms have faced a slew of antitrust challenges in Europe - an approach being watched closely by regulators in Washington.

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Source: TRTWorld and agencies