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Stock Alert: Apple Tanks 12% After French Competition Regulator Fines $1.2 Bln

Shares of Apple Inc. (AAPL) are plunging over 12% on Monday morning trade after French anti-trust regulator fined the tech giant $1.2 billion over competition concerns.

The iPhone maker's stock is currently trading at $243.38, down $34.59 or 12.44%, on the Nasdaq. The stock is down about 16% year-to-date.

De la concurrence, France's competition regulator authority, on Monday fined Apple 1.1 billion euros or $1.2 billion for colluding with other companies in its distribution network, and "an abuse of economic dependence on its resellers."

IT distribution companies Tech Data and Ingram Micro were also sanctioned for $84.9 million and $70.1 million, respectively each, for cartel activity.

Isabelle de Silva, President of the Autorité de la concurrence, stated: " In the course of this case, the Autorité untangled the very particular practices that had been implemented by Apple for the distribution of its products in France (excluding Iphones), such as iPad. First, Apple and its two wholesalers agreed not to compete and prevent distributors from competing with each other, thereby sterilizing the wholesale market for Apple products."

The regulator also said that Apple abused the economic dependence of premium distributors on it, by subjecting them to unfair and unfavorable commercial conditions compared to its network of integrated distributors.

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