Competition: a record fine against Apple in France is greatly reduced
Apple has been accused of practices aimed at preventing its distributors from competing in France.
The Paris Court of Appeal has reduced by two third Thursday a record fine of 1.1 billion euros (1.7 billion Canadian dollars) imposed in March 2020 by the Competition Authority against Apple, accused of #x27;abuse against its retailers in France, according to a source familiar with the matter.
Of the three initial grievances, two were ultimately upheld by the court, bringing the final penalty to 371.6 million euros (500 million Canadian dollars), according to the same source.
The judgment of the Court of Appeal will be made public on Friday, the court said, but the parties have already raised the possibility of a new appeal.
In a statement to AFP, Apple considers that this cancellation should have been total and plans to challenge the decision. The decision concerns practices that date back more than ten years, which even the Competition Authority has recognized as no longer in force, the American giant added.
Contacted by AFP, the Competition Authority behind this sanction – the highest for the institution at the time – also said that it was looking at the judgment and studying the possibility of an appeal to the highest court in the judiciary.
The French competition policeman had considered to the time that Apple had abused its economic dependence on its “premium” retailers, specializing in high-end products, excluding iPhone, by subjecting them to commercial conditions unfair and unfavorable in relation to its network of integrated distributors.
Specifically, Apple was accused of having set up, within its distribution network in France, a distribution of products and customers with two wholesalers from December 2005 to March 2013, and of having caused a abuse of economic dependence vis-à-vis its independent resellers, mainly small and medium-sized enterprises, from November 2009 to April 2013.
The Court of Appeal, on the other hand, ruled waived sanctioning the American giant on the selling prices imposed on these independent resellers, a practice alleged against the company from October 2012 to April 2017.
The x27;Autorité had been seized in 2012 by the eBizcuss site, an independent reseller of high-end Apple products, which at the time was the first exclusive reseller of the American giant in France: it had filed a complaint for unfair competition, abuse of a dominant position and abuse of economic dependence.
Apple is fined 7;a record $1.7 billion fine for anti-competitive practices