The Spanish competition authority is looking into possible anticompetitive practices by U.S. tech behemoths Amazon.com Inc. and Apple Inc. in online sales of electronic products and marketing services to third-party retailers, adding to a wave of antitrust investigations against tech companies in Europe.
Spain’s CNMC said Thursday that it has launched disciplinary proceedings against the companies for possible practices including trade restrictions on the Amazon website in Spain for retail sales of Apple products by third parties and some advertising of competing Apple products.
“The investigated behaviors could be restricting competition in the sectors of the internet sale of electronic products, and the provision of marketing services to third party retailers through online platforms (Marketplace) in Spain,” the watchdog said.
The authority now has 18 months to carry out the investigation.
Amazon said that it will fully cooperate with the authority in its investigation. Apple in Spain didn’t reply to a request for comment.
This is the latest antitrust probe involving U.S. tech companies in Europe. Regulators in the European Union and the U.K. have launched investigations into Facebook Inc.’s Marketplace classified-ads business, while Brussels has also brought antitrust charges against Amazon and Apple. Alphabet Inc.’s Google has recently settled a dispute in France and is facing several cases in the region.