Apple in France fined a record amount of € 1.1 billion
French authorities found Apple guilty of violating antitrust laws and price conspiracy. Now Apple has to pay the largest fine in the history of the French competition authority.
The French Antitrust Authority (Autorité de la concurrence, ADLC) fined Apple more than € 1.1 billion, finding the company guilty of price conspiracy with two wholesalers. The companies involved in the scheme - Tech Data and Ingram Micro - were also fined € 76.1 million and € 62.97 million, respectively.
The ADLC said that the case was first opened back in 2012 following a complaint from Apple's distributor eBizcuss. In the same year, an investigation began, during which several searches were carried out at the Apple offices in France with the seizure of documents. An investigation conducted by the antimonopoly agency confirmed the fact of fraud concerning the delivery of iPad tablets, in particular, as well as other products to France.
Isabelle de Silva, the head of the ADLC as issued the following statement: - "Apple and the two wholesalers agreed not to compete with each other and prevent competition among resellers, thus preparing the entire wholesale market for Apple products". According to her statement, due to the actions of Apple, Tech Data and Ingram Micro, Apple's premium distributors could not conduct promotions or set lower prices. As a result, Apple's retail prices and independent premium distributors remained at the same level as the company's integrated distributors.
Isabelle De Silva emphasized that the penalty that Apple was issued was the largest of all ADCL ever imposed.