Apple’s record antitrust fine reduced by two-thirds on appeal


Apple has seen its €1.1 billion fine for anti-competitive behaviour in France reduced by two-thirds.

The iPhone maker had been fined by the French antitrust regulator in 2020 for anti-competitive behaviour towards its distribution and retail network in what was at the time a record fine from the watchdog. It found that Apple imposed prices on retail premium resellers so that prices were aligned with its own retail outlets – i.e. third-party retailers could not undercut Apple’s list price.

Reuters reports that the appeals court backed the decision that Apple did abuse the retailers’ economic dependency on the company, but threw out the fixed-pricing charge while also reducing the time scope of the charge of an alleged restriction of Apple’s wholesale customers. 

As such, the fine has been reduced to €372 million, but Apple still said it would appeal the decision. In comments to the news wire, a spokesperson said: “While the court correctly reversed part of the French Competition Authority’s decision, we believe it should be overturned in full and plan to appeal. The decision relates to practices from more than a decade ago that even the (French authority) recognised are no longer in use.”

Bloomberg meanwhile reports that the regulator itself is considering an appeal. Virginie Guin, a spokesperson for the Autorite de la concurrence, told the outlet:  “We would like to reaffirm our desire to guarantee the dissuasive nature of our penalties, especially when it concerns market players of the calibre of” Silicon Valley firms.

Tags: Apple

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