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A woman holding her mobile phone walks past an advertisement for Beats headphones outside an electronic store in Tokyo on Aug. 28, 2014.

Yuya Shino/Reuters

Italy’s antitrust authority said on Wednesday it had opened an investigation into whether Apple Inc and Amazon Inc had engaged in anti-competitive cooperation in the sale of Apple products and Beats headphones.

It said the investigation was aimed at establishing whether Apple and Amazon had reached an agreement against market rules to prevent electronic retailers not included in Apple’s official programme selling the products online.

According to the watchdog, the alleged behaviour could have created barriers to entry, affecting competition on prices.

Story continues below advertisement

The Italian competition authority said in a statement that its officials searched Amazon and Apple offices in Italy on Tuesday.

An Amazon spokesman said the company is fully collaborating with the regulator. Apple declined to comment.

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