The Autorite de la Concurrence, the competition watchdog of France, has fined Apple $1.2 billion for stopping its distributors Tech Data and Ingram Micro to lower their prices. The verdict is following a complaint filed back in 2012, when a reseller launched a complaint that its wholesalers were teaming with Apple and not competing with each other.
The authority stated that Apple was treating unfairly its partners and was limiting their supply, including iPads, compared to its own stores. This, along with the lack of competition, lead to identical pricing across almost half of the retail market.
Apple replied in a statement, calling the decision “disheartening”’ and promised it will appeal the ruling. Cupertino stated that it relates to pracitces from over a decade ago and discards “thirty years of legal precedent.”
This is the biggest fine the Autorite de la Concurrence has ever imposed. It is nowhere near the €150 million (around $167 million) fine Google was hit with for “opaque advertising rules”, Reuters added.