Apple has been slapped with a $1.2 billion fine by French antitrust authorities on Monday, over allegedly abusing its economic leverage over independent ‘Premium’ resellers of Apple iPhones, MacBooks and other gadgets.
• The company was found to have effectively blocked Premium resellers from lowering their prices, forcing them to sell products at the same price as Apple’s integrated sales channels.
• The tech giant also subjected its Premium resellers to “unfair and unfavorable commercial conditions,” compared to its integrated sellers.
• Two wholesalers of Apple products, Tech Data and Ingram Micro, were also fined a collective $156 million.
Crucial comment: “Apple and its two wholesalers have agreed not to compete with each other and to prevent distributors from competing with each other, thereby sterilising the wholesale market for Apple products,” France’s competition watchdog said in a statement.