Apple hit with record antitrust fine

17 Mars, 2020, 01:33 | Auteur: Auguste Feret

Apple was hit with a 25 million euro fine back in February over its software updates by French authorities.

The watchdog said Apple had conspired with the two wholesalers, Tech Data and Ingram Micro, and behaved in such a way that aligned prices and limited wholesale competition for Apple products such as Apple Mac computers and iPads, but not iPhones. Isabela de Silva, president of the French Competition Authority, said in a statement.

"Apple's distribution of products in France between Tech Data and Ingram Micro, in a way that "'sterilised' the wholesale market for Apple products, freezing market share and preventing competition between the various distribution channels".

France's competition watchdog fined Apple $1.23 billion (£1 billion) for forcing retailers to match the prices in the tech giant's own shops.

Since her nomination as the head of the French competition authority in 2016, Isabelle de Silva has set her sights on US tech companies.

The other two French companies were also fined. Apple, as you would expect, denied the accusations and plans to appeal.

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The French regulator said Apple imposed prices on resellers.

The Autorité de la Concurrence also alleges Apple abused its position of power over its network of premium resellers by artificially limiting the supply of certain products in order to give its retail outlets a key advantage.

It is the highest sanction levied by the French watchdog, which stressed it was the most important sanction against a company due to the "extraordinary dimension" of the case.

"Finally, the authority considered that, in the present case, Apple had committed an abuse of economic dependence on its premium retailers, a practice which the authority considers to be particularly serious".

Apple announced that it would appeal the decision.

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