Apple has today been served a 1.1 billion euro fine from France. The French authorities said that Apple had created illegal agreements within its distribution network and abuse of “economic dependence” of independent resellers.
The decision comes from the French competition authorities after many years of investigations. In addition to Apple’s fine, fines were also imposed on two of Apple’s wholesalers for unlawfully agreeing on prices.
The fine is based on Apple’s relationships with the two wholesalers, Tech Data and Ingram Micro. Those distributors were fined 76.1 million euros and 62.9 million euros respectively.
The French regulator says that the agreements Apple made with wholesalers meant they had agreed not to compete with each other, effectively fixing prices.
This is a record-breaking sum for France, although the value of the fine accounts for many years of supposed malpractice. Apple told CNBC that the decision is “disheartening”, going against “legal precedent that all companies in France rely on with an order that will cause chaos for companies across all industries”, and it plans to appeal.
This is the second French fine in as many months. In February, Apple was fined 25 million euros for the iPhone battery throttling debacle, which was seen as a form of ‘forced obsolescence’ due to Apple’s poor communication of how it had changed its software policies.
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