Apple and Amazon are once again facing scrutiny for their 2018 deal that ultimately allowed Apple to establish an official storefront on Amazon. A report of Insider Today, we delve deeper into the details of this deal, with a source claiming that Apple is receiving “massive preferential treatment” from Amazon.
The deal between Apple and Amazon has faced widespread regulatory criticism in recent years. The two companies are also locked in a price-fixing lawsuit, alleging they collaborated to raise prices for iPhones and iPads.
As detailed in today’s report, Apple’s deal with Amazon includes an exclusion that reduces the number of ads and recommendations appearing on Apple device product pages. While Amazon product pages are typically full of ads, sponsored results, and recommendations, Apple product pages only display a single banner ad at the very bottom of the page.
In contrast, the product pages of Apple’s competitors like Samsung are full of competitor ads, recommendations, and other sponsored banners. Insider says other companies, including Samsung, have complained about the preferential treatment given to Apple.
It’s unclear whether Amazon has made similar offers to companies like Samsung. Insider cites “at least a half-dozen salespeople on Amazon’s advertising team” who say “they haven’t been able to extend this special Apple-style treatment to their customers.”
Emails revealed in an FTC lawsuit against Amazon reveal that the company initially opposed Apple’s requests for special treatment before ultimately relenting. In a statement released today, Apple explained:
Apple also told Insider that the 2018 deal with Amazon “sought to address significant counterfeiting and security concerns” in Amazon’s marketplace. Before the deal, Apple sent “hundreds of thousands of takedown notices” to Amazon to reduce counterfeits, and the company conducted test purchases on Amazon that “consistently returned high counterfeit rates,” Apple added. .
By providing “accurate, relevant and quality content on Apple product pages,” Apple has been able to resolve much of the counterfeiting issues on Amazon, the iPhone maker said.
“The 2018 settlements significantly reduced the sale of counterfeit and dangerous Apple products on Amazon Marketplaces and significantly improved the customer experience,” Apple also wrote in a statement to Insider.
The full report on Insider includes additional details on early negotiations between Apple and Amazon. For example, at one point, Amazon insisted that Apple “compensate Amazon for lost advertising revenue” resulting from the deal. It is unclear, however, whether this was included in the final agreement.
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