The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is scrutinizing a deal Amazon.com made with Apple to sell iPhones directly on its e-commerce site.
John Bumstead, who sells refurbished Apple products, said in a Facebook post last month that about seven lawyers and an economist from the FTC interviewed him about the deal. He mentioned that he had been forced to stop selling their refurbished products on Amazon.
Facebook also disclosed last week that the FTC is probing its businesses, the same week the Justice Department announced a broad review into whether tech companies are using their power to thwart competition.
The FTC and Amazon declined to comment.
Amazon announced last November that it would sell the most-recent iPhone, iPad, Mac computer, Apple Watch and Apple TV models on its website, along with branded accessories and headphones from Apple’s Beats subsidiary. Previously, Amazon sold only older model iPhones.
Amazon in 2015 stopped selling the Apple TV media-streaming device that wasn’t compatible with the e-commerce giant’s video service.
In 2016, Apple filed a lawsuit against Amazon alleging that the online retailer was selling counterfeit Apple products on its web store.
The European Commission opened a formal investigation earlier last month into Amazon’s dual role as retailer and online platform, focusing on the potential misuse of merchants’ data.
The EU suspects that Amazon can spot best-selling products and start stocking the same items itself, promoting the most profitable or high-volume goods without having to take the risks that the other sellers did to find out what people buy.
How Amazon treats its third-party sellers is also being scrutinized by the House Judiciary Committee as part of its separate probe into the technology industry.
The Justice Department is also investigating Alphabet’s Google and overseeing antitrust scrutiny of Apple.