Apple Fined Record $1.2 Billion by French Competition Watchdog for Anti-competitive Behavior

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Apple has been fined a record 1.1 billion euros ($1.23 billion) by the French competition watchdog for its anti-competitive behavior in its distribution network and abusing the economic dependence of its resellers. Additionally, the competition watchdog fined Tech Data and Ingram Micro, two of Apple’s resellers, 63 million euros and 76 million euros for agreeing on prices.

The competition watchdog Directorate General for Competition, Consumption, and the Repression of Fraud (DGCCRF) was investigating Apple for violating French competition law through its sales and distribution practices. In its investigation, it found Apple guilty of creating cartels with its distribution network.

“Apple and its two wholesalers agreed not to compete and prevent distributors from competing with each other, thereby sterilizing the wholesale market for Apple products,” said Isabelle de Silva, president of the French Competition Authority.

An Apple spokesperson called the decision from the DGCCRF disheartening and said that it “relates to practices from over a decade ago.” The company will be appealing against the decision. Below is the statement in full:

“The French Competition Authority’s decision is disheartening. It relates to practices from over a decade ago and discards 30 years of legal precedent that all companies in France rely on with an order that will cause chaos for companies across all industries. We strongly disagree with them and plan to appeal.”

Back in February, the DGCCRF had fined Apple 25 million euros ($28 million) for slowing down older iPhones via software updates and failing to inform users about it.

[Via CNBC]