A new report has revealed that Apple and Amazon worked together to raise iPhone prices on the platform by removing third-party resellers who offered iPhones and other Apple products at a lower cost.
An antitrust lawsuit in Washington found that the two companies engaged in an “unlawful horizontal agreement” which removed the “competitive threat posed by third-party merchants”. Around 600 third-party companies SOLD THE iPhone via the Amazon Marketplace, and the scheme whittled it down to seven.
Back in 2019, Amazon signed a deal with Apple to sell iPhones directly and eliminated many third-party resellers. In return for this, Apple offered Amazon a discount on iPhones and iPads. This allowed Amazon to become the dominant Apple seller on the platform and increase revenues as a result.
A spokesperson for the Hagens Berman law firm, which is representing third-party resellers in this case, said: “When Apple and Amazon renewed their existing reseller agreement in 2019, the only losing party to their plan was consumers, who were blindsided by the price increases.
“Where consumers used to be able to find discounted prices of upwards of 20% for iPhones and iPads for sale on Amazon Marketplace, now they get locked into Apple’s premium pricing.”
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