Apple fined record $1.2 billion by French antitrust authorities

Apple was fined 1.1 billion euros ($1.23 billion) for anti-competitive behavior Monday by the French antitrust authorities.

The French competition authority said the iPhone maker was guilty of cartels within its distribution network and abusing the economic dependence of its independent re-sellers.

Two of Apple’s wholesalers were also fined for agreeing on prices: Tech Data and Ingram Micro received fines of 76.1 million euros and 62.9 million euros respectively. Both companies were not immediately available for comment when contacted by CNBC.

The French authority said this penalty — totaling 1.24 billion euros — was the largest ever handed down in one case.

“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,” Isabelle de Silva, president of the French Competition Authority, said in a statement.

A spokesperson for Apple told CNBC: “The French Competition Authority’s decision is disheartening. 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. We strongly disagree with them and plan to appeal.”

Monday’s announcement is the second fine that French authorities have imposed on Apple in two months. The regulators hit Apple with a 25 million euro fine in February over its software updates, which were concluded to have slowed down older iPhones.

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