French Antitrust Body Slaps Apple With €1.1 Billion Fine For Anti-Competitive Behaviour



US tech giant Apple has received a record 1.1 billion (about $1.2 billion) fine from France's competition authority for anti-competitive behaviour towards its independent retail distribution.

The French competition authority said it found that Apple acted to prevent independent retailers in France from competing on price and abused its economic power over them.

The case was  brought upon Apple in 2012 when one of Apple's independent premium resellers complained about uncompetitive practices that included squeezing-off supplies in favour of its own stores.

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According to the head of the authority, Isabelle de Silva, Apple was found violating three areas of anti-competitive behaviour.

The first was that Apple and its wholesalers agreed not to compete against one another.

Secondly, independent retailers "could not without risk undertake promotions or lower prices, which led to an alignment of retail prices", said de Silva.

"Finally, Apple abusively exploited the economic dependence of these Premium resellers on it and imposed unfair economic conditions on them that were worse than those for its integrated network," she added.

The competition authority acknowledged that the fine was "the heaviest" against a firm in any case, which also included two of Apple's wholesalers in France who were hit fines worth nearly 140 million.

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