The German competition authority has started an investigation into Amazon and Apple.

The investigation concerns an Amazon policy that prohibits independent sellers from selling Apple products.


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The authority calls Amazon's policy "brand gating."

This allows makers of branded products such as iPhones to force independent sellers of those products off Amazon.

"Brand gating can help prevent illegal sales," says the regulator.

"But such measures must be in proportion to the competition rules and must not cause competition to disappear."

Amazon tells


that it is cooperating with the competition authority.

According to the company, selling permissions are only removed if there is good reason to do so.

Amazon also says it is trying to protect customers from illegal distribution of goods.

The German regulator says Apple is a shining example of how Amazon does brand gating.

As of 2019, only Apple-approved merchants can sell Apple products through the platform.

Amazon itself is also such an authorized seller.

Apple states that customer safety is "the top priority."

"Our teams are constantly working with authorities, vendors and web shops around the world to remove fake products from the market."