France had been investigating Apple for months and the fine to the Cupertino company has just been made effective, no less than 1,100 million euros. According to the French authorities: "Apple has struck up illegal deals within its distribution network and abused the "financial dependency" of independent distributors"
This is a very large fine (1,100,000,000 euros) that has been imposed by the French competition authorities after many years of investigations. But it is also not the only one, since several Apple partners have also received two other minor fines for illegally agreeing sale prices.
Two of Apple's wholesalers have been fined for agreeing prices: Tech Data and Ingram Micro have been fined 76.1 million euros and 62.9 million euros respectively. The French authorities have revealed that this fine has been the bigger than they have ever imposed in their history.
"A discouraging decision"
The fine against Apple and its partners in France has just been disclosed by Isabelle de Silva, President of the French Competition Authority, in a statement. The $ 1.1 billion fine is the largest ever imposed and Apple did not like the decision at all.
"Apple and its two wholesalers agreed not to compete and prevent distributors from competing with each other, thus sterilizing the wholesale market for Apple products"
According to what Apple has communicated to the CNBC, this decision made by the French authorities it's "daunting" and the company has indicated that it intends to appeal this decision in the appropriate courts.
"The decision of the French Competition Authority is disappointing. It relates to the practices of more than a decade ago and rules out thirty years of legal precedent in which all companies in France rely on an order to cause chaos for companies in all industries. We totally disagree with them and plan to appeal.
This is the second French fine to Apple so far this year. In February, Apple received a fine of 25 million euros by slowing down the iPhones to prevent the battery from degrading, which was interpreted by the French authorities as a form of "forced obsolescence", mainly due to Apple's poor communication, which did not properly inform users of these developments.
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It is certainly never a good time to receive such a sanction, but perhaps even less now. Apple has just closed all its stores in the world except the Chinese ones due to coronavirus and your sales and income will drop dramatically this quarter. This is causing severe stock market crashes, from both Apple and other companies, and such a large fine is another bad news for the company.
However, Apple has been determined to fight in court Given what they think is an unfair decision. We will see how this whole matter ends and if Apple manages to reach an agreement, something that has already happened on other occasions.