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Apple Fined EUR 1.1 Bln By French Competition Authority - Quick Facts

The French Competition Authority has fined tech giant Apple Inc. (AAPL) 1.1 billion euros for being guilty of cartels within its distribution network and "abuse of economic dependence on its independent resellers".

Two of Apple's wholesalers, Tech Data and Ingram Micro, were also penalized, respectively for 76.1 million euros and 62.9 million euros, for one of the cartel practices.

The iPhone maker is accused of having implemented three anti-competitive practices in France within its distribution network of electronic products, except iPhone.

Isabelle de Silva, President of the French Competition Authority said that Apple and its two wholesalers agreed not to compete and to prevent distributors from competing with each other, thereby sterilizing the wholesale market for Apple products.

The agency also noted that the so-called Premium distributors could not risk promoting or lowering prices without risk, which led to an alignment of retail prices between Apple's integrated distributors and independent Premium distributors.

In addition, Apple abused the economic dependence of these Premium distributors on it, by subjecting them to unfair and unfavorable commercial conditions compared to its network of integrated distributors.

In February, Apple was fined 25 million euros by a French regulator for deliberately slowing down older iPhone models without notifying users.

France's competition and fraud watchdog DGCCRF said iPhone customers "were not informed that installing iOS updates (10.2.1 and 11.2) could slow down their devices".

As part of the settlement, Apple was required to display a notice on its French-language website for a month acknowledging the fine.

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