France Fines Apple $1.2 Billion for ‘Running a Cartel’

French competition authority, Autorité de la Concurrence, fined Apple a record $1.2 billion after their investigation found that Apple and its wholesale partners, Ingram Micro and Tech Data, were “running a cartel” that prevented other distributors from posting competitive prices. Apple and its partners had entered into an agreement where they agreed not to compete, which means that other distributors were forced to keep their costs high to “match those of integrated distributors.” Apple, Ingram Micro, and Tech Data were fined €1.1 billion ($1.2 billion), €62.9 million ($70.2 million), and €76.1 million ($85 million), respectively. The authority based the penalty in part on Apple’s considerable resources. This isn’t Apple’s first European antitrust suit. Antitrust law enforcers raided its offices in 2013 and, more recently, the company was fined after a commission found they purposely slowed the performance of older iPhone models, forcing consumers to upgrade.

Edited by Tom Hagy for MoginRubin LLP.

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