Monday 16 March 2020 10:46 am

Apple fined $1.2bn by French antitrust authorities

US technology giant Apple has been fined $1.2bn (£958m) by antitrust authorities in France.

This is one of the largest fines the body has ever handed down.

Two French wholesalers were also fined for running the cartel with Apple which exploited the company’s dependence on re-sellers.

Read more: Apple shuts stores across the world amid coronavirus fears

Tech Data and Ingram Micro received fines of 76.1 million euros and 62.9 million euros respectively for their part in the cartel. 

Virgin Mobile was found to be one of the companies disadvantaged by the action

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.”

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The probe dates back to April 2012 after eBizcuss, one of Apple’s premium re-sellers and now defunct, lodged a complaint against Apple’s practices.

The French authorities fined Apple €25m in February after it found software deliberately slowed down older devices.

“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 authority’s head Isabelle de Silva said. 

Apple shares have fallen 11 per cent during extended hours on the news.