The Spanish High Court has decided to suspend the imposition of fines totalling €194m ($209m) on US tech giants Apple and Amazon, Reuters has reported. 

The decision comes as part of an appeal process initiated by the companies against penalties levied by the Spanish competition regulator, La Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia (CNMC), for alleged anti-competitive practices. 

In July 2023, CNMC fined Apple €143.6m and Amazon €50.5m, accusing them of collusion that restricted other dealers from selling Apple products on Amazon’s Spanish websites.  

An Amazon spokesperson confirmed the suspension of the fines to Reuters, stating that the court’s decision is a procedural element of the ongoing appeal.  

Amazon had previously argued that its agreement with Apple had led to an increase in discounts on Apple devices on its platforms. 

However, the decision does not imply any indication of the court’s future rulings either in favour of or against the two companies.  

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By GlobalData

The CNMC’s allegations stem from a contract signed in October 2018, which granted Amazon the status of an authorised Apple dealer in Spain.  

According to the regulator, the contract contained clauses that effectively barred 90% of other retailers from offering Apple products on Amazon’s marketplace.  

The agreement allegedly limited the ability of European Union retailers outside Spain to reach customers in the country and restricted advertising from Apple’s competitors on Amazon’s site. 

The regional administrative court of Lazio, Italy, cancelled antitrust fines for both companies in October 2022.