Last year, Apple and Amazon struck a deal for the Cupertino-based company to sell its products directly to consumers through an official Apple Store on the e-commerce site. In particular, Hubbard believes that the Amazon-Apple deal could constitute a violation of antitrust laws that deal with anti-competitive behavior such as the price cartel and the illegal award of the contract. „You don`t have to agree with another company to set a floor for your prices,” she says. „If you have these brands and a dominant retailer like Amazon and Amazon says, `We`ll make sure that anyone who sells below your prices can no longer be allowed to sell on your platform,` that`s actually a pricing agreement between a dominant retailer and a brand. And it`s illegal under Section 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act.” The deal was struck nearly two years ago by providing an official Apple Store on Amazon and limiting the sale of Apple products to authorized resellers. The documents, as Reported by Bloomberg, show an email exchange between Apple`s senior vice president, Eddy Cue, and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in November 2016. The exchange shows an agreement that Apple gets a 15% stake in sales of Amazon`s video prime app subscriptions, compared to the 30% it usually calculates for all the others. It is essentially a pricing agreement between a dominant retailer and a brand. And it`s illegal under Section 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act. „As part of a new agreement with Apple, we are working with a number of authorized resellers to offer an expanded selection of Apple and Beats products, including new releases, in Amazon stores,” an Amazon spokesperson told The Verge. The company would not comment on whether third parties would leave the platform, but it did recommend that anyone or company that wants to sell completely refurbished products qualify for Amazon Renewed.
But as the announcement of the deal with Apple showed, there are specific requirements for becoming an Apple reseller that make it restrictive for everything except large operations. Earlier this week, regulatory news organization MLex reported that the FTC Amazon Marketplace had summoned sales data on products that were not sold by the company itself, though it`s unclear whether the two efforts are related. . . .