France again applied a fine to Apple, with the usual accusations of anti-competitive practices. This time, the fine reached 1.1 billion euros, the highest amount that France has ever applied in fines of this kind.
The French competent authority (Autorité de la Concurrence) accused Apple and two retail partners. The accusations focus on the fact that Apple does not respect retail agreements, restricting the market and abusing the economic dependence of retailers.
More specifically, Apple’s partners Ingram Micro and Tech Data have agreed not to compete on product prices. In this way, they prevent the prices of iPhones from falling. Accordingly, Apple and the aforementioned stores have been accused of illegitimate price controls.
Ingram Micro and Tech Data were fined separately, in amounts of 76 million euros and 63 million euros, respectively. France’s (and the European Union’s) fight against Apple, Google and Facebook continues like this, where illegal practices continue to be exposed.
Apple uses price monitoring systems
According to the French authority, Apple is in the habit of monitoring prices that retailers make. If any makes a promotion not authorized by Apple, the company responds by favoring competing stores, harming the original retailer.
It seems to be a very extreme measure to “punish” retailers who do promotions without authorization. A warning or a sanction could be enough to prevent stores from lowering prices. Overall, this whole situation is caused by Apple and its alleged poor treatment of retailers.