Apple reportedly asked Amazon to remove competing adverts from its product pages.

In response, the retail giant apparently agreed to only offer adverts and recommendations at the very bottom of Apple product pages, a gesture that other brands such as Samsung and Microsoft do not receive.

According to Business Insider, this preferential treatment has allegedly improved Apple’s product pages, resulting in a more streamlined user experience, which has generated discontent among the company’s competitors.

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Apple allegedly receives preferential treatment over competitors, creating an unequal playing field that makes it more difficult for competitors to prosper and obtain a return on their investment.

When you search for Apple products on Amazon, you’ll find that competitor products are still featured, but Amazon limits the advertisements that appear above, below, and between the results. For example, a search for an iPhone 15 yields only one Apple product banner at the top of the page and one at the bottom:

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Searches for rival devices, such as the Samsung Galaxy S23, however, display advertisements for various products and services throughout the results page.

Special consideration? Insider spoke with Juozas Kaziukenas, CEO of e-commerce research firm Marketplace Pulse:

“It’s clear Apple made a deal with Amazon that is not available to other brands.”

“I can’t recall any other brand with the same setup.”

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The financial ramifications. It has not yet been established whether Apple paid Amazon to prevent competing advertisements from showing on its product pages. However, in emails obtained by the House Judiciary Committee dating back to 2018, Amazon’s then-retail CEO Jeff Wilke indicated that he originally rebuffed Apple’s request to restrict competing adverts, writing:

“We cannot alter our organic search algorithm to return only Apple products in the search results when an Apple team is searched.”
He then appeared to offer Apple an alternative solution:

“Apple would need to purchase these placements or compensate Amazon for the lost ad revenue.”

According to an FTC lawsuit, Amazon’s advertising unit, which earned more than $38 billion in profit last year, has been boosting adverts on its platform. Given this context, Amazon’s agreement with Apple to limit competition advertisements on its product pages is very notable.


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