This is the punishment for creating a “cartel” in the distribution network.
The French antitrust authority imposed a fine of 1.1 billion euros on Apple for abuse of economic superiority over third-party sellers of the company’s products.
The lead agency, Isabelle de Silva, said that “Apple and its two wholesalers have agreed not to compete and prevent distributors from competing with each other, thereby sterilizing the wholesale market for Apple products.”
Antitrust officials found that Apple effectively prevented other sellers from lowering the price of its products, resulting in these products being sold at the same price as Apple’s own sales channel. Moreover, it turned out that Apple created “unfair and unfavorable commercial conditions” for these premium intermediaries, while in its own channel it showed a more favorable attitude.
Apple’s wholesalers, Tech Data and Ingram Micro, mentioned above received fines of € 76.1 million and € 62.9 million, respectively.
According to an Apple spokesman, “the decision of the French antitrust authority is discouraging.” The company plans to file an appeal.