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France fines record € 1.1 billion fine for Apple for anti-competitive practices

The French Competition Authority imposed a fine of 1.1 billion euros on Apple due to anti-competitive practices with regard to distribution and sales network. The fine is one of the heaviest sanctions ever imposed by the French regulator, advances Reuters.

The French regulator accuses the Cupertino giant, as well as Ingram Micro and Tech Data, two company partners in the distribution area, of operating a cartel, affecting prices and deciding who could sell its products, in particular , computers and tablets. Tech Data will have to pay a fine of 76.1 million euros and Ingram Micro will pay a fine of 62.9 million euros.

In an international press release, Isabelle de Silva, president of the regulatory body, indicates that throughout the investigation, numerous practices were found to be incompatible with competition laws. The Authority considers that Apple has abused the economic dependence of independent resellers, subjecting them to unfair and unfavorable commercial conditions in relation to the network of integrated distributors ".

In response, an Apple spokesman says the regulator's deliberation is disheartening and that it refers to practices that occurred more than a decade ago. We strongly disagree with the Authority and we will appeal the decision, said CNBC.

In its last annual report, issued in October 2019, Apple referred to an investigation by the French Competition Authority. While admitting that the final decision may include a fine, the company does not agree with the regulator's claims.

Still in French lands, in February this year, Apple agreed to pay a fine of 25 million euros to avoid a lawsuit. At issue is an investigation by the French anti-fraud services, which concluded that there were information flaws about the iOS system updates in versions 10.2.1 and 11.2. According to the authority, Apple's performance "is a deceptive business practice by default".

It should be remembered that this is not the first time that the French Competition Authority has imposed fines on technological giants. In December 2019, the regulator imposed a fine of 150 million euros Google. At issue was the behavior of the Mountain View company, which went against competition laws, since it was abusing its dominant position in the online advertising market.

The entity's decision is the conclusion of a four-year investigation into a complaint made by Gibmedia against Google's online advertising platform. The French company runs several websites that offer weather forecasts, business data and directions. In 2015, your Google Ads account was suspended by Google without notice.