[English]The French government’s competition watchdog has fined Apple a record 1.1 billion euros for anti-competitive behaviour. Here are a few information about that case.
In addition to the fine of 1.1 billion euros for Apple, the two Apple wholesalers Tech Data and Ingram Micro were fined 76.1 million euros and 62.9 million euros respectively. This is the result of this French press release. The reason for the fines are cartel practices that Apple and the wholesalers have engaged in on the French market. Apple is accused of having used three anti-competitive practices in France within its distribution network for electronic products (excluding the iPhone).
- For example, Apple artificially kept the prices of Apple products artificially high in agreement with wholesalers vis-à-vis retailers (the products had to be offered at the same price as in Apple stores or on the Apple site).
- Apple is also accused of abusing the economic dependence of the resellers. According to the competition authority, Apple’s practices led to supply difficulties, discriminatory treatment and unstable remuneration conditions.
- The two wholesalers concerned were also granted EUR 139 million for the adoption and implementation of the product and customer allocation mechanisms developed and piloted by Apple, as a result of which they were no longer free to determine business policy.
The measures had led to bankruptcies among dealers. The authority imposed the highest fine ever imposed in a case (EUR 1.24 billion). It is also the most severe sanction imposed on an economic operator, in this case Apple (1.1 billion euros), whose exceptional dimension was duly taken into account. 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 may appeal against this penalty. (via)
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