Apple fined £1bn ($1.2bn) by French antitrust regulator

Anticompetitive practices were based on abusing the economic dependence of SMBs and led to effective price fixing

External shot of a flagship Apple store

The French competition regulator has fined Apple a record €1.1 billion (£1 billion/ $1.2bn) after the firm and two of its wholesalers illegally agreed not to compete on prices and distribution.

Tech Data and Ingram Micro, two of Apple’s wholesalers, received fines of €76.1 million (£69.2 million/ $75.9 million) and €62.9 million (£57.2 million / $69 million) respectively, in addition to the billion-pound-plus fine handed to Apple.

The French Competition Authority found the iPhone manufacturer guilty of running cartels within its distribution network and exploiting the economic dependence of resellers, largely small and medium-sized businesses. These practices were implemented for the distribution of products in France, such as iPads, but not iPhones

“Apple and its two wholesalers agreed not to compete and prevent distribution from competing with each other, thereby sterilising the wholesale market for Apple products,” said the president of the French Competition Authority Isabelle de Silva.

The record fine, according to the regulator, was in light of the fact the agreements that Apple made with its wholesalers amounted to price-fixing. Apple and its two wholesalers agreed not to compete and prevented distributors from competing with each other.

So-called premium distributors could then not carry out promotions or lower prices, which led to an alignment of retail prices between Apple’s integrated distributors and independent resellers.

Selling prices were effectively imposed on resellers so that they apply the same prices as those charged by Apple itself in its Apple Stores and websites, meaning an alignment was true for half of the retail market.

The latest crackdown by French authorities follows action taken in February this year, where it fined apple €25 million (£22.7 million) over malpractice regarding its software updates, which were ruled to have slowed own older iPhones deliberately.

The was also forced to pay out $500 million (£406 million) for the same offence following a US lawsuit that was settled two weeks ago.

Featured Resources

How to scale your organisation in the cloud

How to overcome common scaling challenges and choose the right scalable cloud service

Download now

The people factor: A critical ingredient for intelligent communications

How to improve communication within your business

Download now

Future of video conferencing

Optimising video conferencing features to achieve business goals

Download now

Improving cyber security for remote working

13 recommendations for security from any location

Download now

Recommended

Apple opens all US stores for the first time in a year
business transformation

Apple opens all US stores for the first time in a year

2 Mar 2021
Apple Mac mini (Apple M1, 2020) review: A miniature marvel
Hardware

Apple Mac mini (Apple M1, 2020) review: A miniature marvel

19 Feb 2021
Apple iPhone 12 review: Cutting edge nostalgia
iOS

Apple iPhone 12 review: Cutting edge nostalgia

5 Feb 2021
Apple MacBook Pro 13in (Apple M1, 2020) review: Almost unbelievably good
Laptops

Apple MacBook Pro 13in (Apple M1, 2020) review: Almost unbelievably good

6 Jan 2021

Most Popular

How to build a CMS with React and Google Sheets
content management system (CMS)

How to build a CMS with React and Google Sheets

24 Feb 2021
How to find RAM speed, size and type
Laptops

How to find RAM speed, size and type

26 Feb 2021
National Grid plots £450 million overhaul of Britain’s fibre network
Network & Internet

National Grid plots £450 million overhaul of Britain’s fibre network

2 Mar 2021