FTC looking into Apple-Amazon deal

According to The Verge, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is looking into the Apple-Amazon deal that has apparently put the squeeze on some smaller retailers. 

Last December it was announced that Amazon had signed a deal with Apple to expand the selection of the tech giant’s products on Amazon worldwide. The e-commerce giant began selling more Apple products directly and had access to Apple's latest devices. 

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The deal encompasses the U.S., UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan and India. Also, only Apple-authorized resellers will now be allowed to sell Apple and Beats products on Amazon's marketplace.

Sally Hubbard, an antitrust expert and the director of enforcement strategy at the OpenMarkets Institute, told The Verge that the Apple-Amazon deal could be a violation of antitrust laws that deal with anti-competitive conduct like price-fixing and illegal market allocation. 

“You’re not allowed to agree with another firm to set a floor on your pricing,” she said. “When you have these brands and a dominant retailer like Amazon, and Amazon says, ‘We’re going to make sure anyone who sells below your prices can’t be authorized to sell on your platform anymore,’ it’s basically a price-fixing agreement between a dominant retailer and a brand. And that’s illegal under Section 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act.”