Apple is no stranger to appealing legal proceedings it’s not particularly fond of, so it should come as no surprise that the company is going to appeal a $1.2 billion fine brought against it by French regulators.
According to a report on Monday from Reuters, France’s watchdog meant to oversee competition is fining Apple a whopping 1.1 billion euros (about $1.23 billion) for anti-competitive behavior. The decision is tied to what the regulators believe is anti-competitive behavior in its distribution network, and related to abuse of its economic dependence on its resellers.
Related, a pair of Apple wholesalers have also been fined quite a bit of money for “unlawfully agreeing on prices”. Tech Data was fined 63 million euros and Ingram Micro was fined 76 million euros. The regulators have said that the deal between Apple and the wholesalers essentially sterilized the wholesale market.
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,” it said.
There is additional information about the whole proceeding from France’s Competition Authority, which states that the whole anti-competitive scope was brought down on Apple when another one of the company’s wholesalers, eBizcuss, brought allegations of anti-competitive behavior against Apple. eBizcuss shut down in 2012 over what it deemed unfair competition.
Meanwhile, Apple provided a statement to CNBC over the matter, confirming the company plans an appeal of the fine:
The French Competition Authority’s decision is disheartening. It relates to practices from over a decade ago and discards 30 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.
We’ll have additional updates on the matter as they unfold. It will be interesting to see how long this one pans out.
Meanwhile, this is the second major fine France has leveled against Apple in recent months. Earlier this year the company was handed a $27 million fine for the battery management features the company baked into its software not too long ago. The same features that would throttle older iPhones in favor of better battery life. You remember, it was a whole thing — and cost $500 million in the United States.