It hasn’t been a good few months for Apple when it comes to their legal troubles. Earlier in February, the company was fined €25 million in France for slowing down iPhone devices. Later in the month, it was reported that the Cupertino giant agreed to pay up to $500 million in the U.S. for lawsuits regarding the same issue. Today, French antitrust authorities have fined the company a whopping €1.1 billion (approx. $1.23 billion) for anti-competitive behavior.
According to the Autorité de la concurrence (French for Competition Authority), the company reportedly worked with its distribution networks to fix prices and abuse the “economic dependence” of its independent re-sellers. As part of the investigation, two of the company’s wholesale partners – Tech Data and Ingram Micro –also received fines of €76.1 million and €62.9 million respectively for agreeing on prices.
Isabelle de Silva, President of the French Competition Authority, added in a statement that “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”. A spokesperson for Apple commented on the decision, calling it “disheartening”, and that it “discards thirty years of legal precedent that all companies in France rely on with an order that will cause chaos for companies across all industries”. The company has stated that it plans to appeal the decision.
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