According to RT, France is fining Apple a record $1.23 billion for anti-competitive practices. The fine will put more pressure on the company as it navigates the coronavirus outbreak and the threat of its supply chains, says the New York Times.
Earlier this month, France’s national competition regulator announced that it was fining the tech giant after a decade’s-worth of investigations surrounding its anti-competitive behavior in its distribution and sales networks. This is the competition regulator’s largest sanction to date.
Two French Apple wholesalers, Tech Data and Ingram Micro, were each also fined tens of millions of dollars for “unlawfully agreeing on prices.” “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,” the French regulator said in a statement.
Apple didn’t take too kindly to the case, naturally, saying that: “It relates to practices from over a decade ago and discards thirty years of legal precedent that all companies in France rely on with an order that will cause chaos for companies across all industries, ” the Associated Press says.
RT also says that France’s Directorate-General for Competition, Consumption and the Suppression of Fraud fined Apple a little under $27 million for slowing down iPhones after operating system updates. The tech company admitted to “slowing down older iPhone models to keep them running longer;” Apple says they did this to prevent devices from “unexpected shutdowns,” and keep them running optimally.
Apple is calling the fines “disheartening,” and backs up its operations in a statement saying that its “investment and innovation supports over 240,000 jobs across the country,” according to the Associated Press. Apple also plans on appealing the case, the New York Times reports.