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French authority hits Apple with €1.1 billion antitrust fine
The fine is the largest-ever imposed by France’s antitrust regulator.

By
Thibault Larger

3/16/20, 12:01 PM CET
Updated 3/16/20, 12:34 PM CET

France’s antitrust authority hit Apple with a €1.1 billion fine today for breaking competition rules, marking the regulator’s largest-ever financial penalty.
The Autorité de la concurrence watchdog said that Apple had entered into illegal competition-killing agreements with wholesale distributors Tech Data and Ingram Micro. The distributors were sanctioned €76.1 million and €63 million, respectively.
The watchog also found that Apple had imposed resale prices to resellers and abused its position as a must-have supplier, favoring its own retail suppliers.
“In view of the strong impact of these practices on competition in the distribution of Apple products via Apple premium resellers, the Authority imposes the highest penalty ever imposed in a case… It is also the highest sanction imposed on an economic operator, in this case Apple,” competition chief Isabelle de Silva said in a statement.
The authority investigated Apple and the two wholesalers following a complaint from premium reseller eBizcuss.com in 2012.
The antitrust agency’s investigation was slowed down by Apple contesting the legality of the watchdog’s dawn raids in 2013. French courts concluded in 2018 that the searches had been legal.
The fine, the largest-ever imposed by France’s antitrust regulator, is three times as high as its previous record fine — a €350 million fine to telecoms operator Orange in 2015.
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Authors:

Thibault Larger