Italy is the latest country to open an antitrust investigation into Apple

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iPhone with gavel.
Italy is investigating Apple over a possible sales violation involving Amazon.
Photo: Tingey Injury Law Firm/Cult of Mac

Italy has opened another antitrust investigation into Apple, adding to the number of current antitrust investigations the company faces.

This time the investigation will explore Apple’s relationship with Amazon and whether they reached what Reuters calls an “anti-competitive agreement” over the sale of Apple devices and Beats headphones.

According to Reuters, the investigation will look at whether the two tech giants agreed to “prevent electronics retailers not included in Apple’s official [program] to sell the products.” Antitrust official reportedly searched Amazon and Apple’s offices in Italy on Tuesday.

Italy’s antitrust watchdog previously fined Apple $11.4 million for slowing down older iPhones with aging batteries in late 2018.

Current antitrust investigations into Apple

This is only the latest of a series of antitrust investigations presently scouring Apple’s business practices. The European Commission is currently investigating Apple over its ownership of the App Store, its e-books, and Apple Pay. Apple has dismissed the investigation as “disappointing” and focused on “baseless complaints.” Recently, Europe said it could open an investigation into data collection by tools like Siri and whether this provides an unfair market advantage.

Meanwhile, the United States is investigating Apple over its App Store. Multiple app developers accuse Apple of behaving in an overly controlling manner and taking an unfair cut of revenue. Microsoft president Brad Smith recently added his name to those suggesting Apple’s behavior should be scrutinized. Apple, again, defends its position by arguing that certain developers are trying to use its established infrastructure without paying their share.

Apple CEO Tim Cook will testify in front of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee antitrust investigation committee on July 27. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, as well as Google’s Sundar Pichai and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, will also speak about their own companies as part of the antitrust hearing.

We’ll keep you updated about how these antitrust investigations progress.