Bloomberg reports that Apple has filed an appeal against the record-breaking $1.3 billion fine by French antitrust regulators. The tech giant accuses that regulators bend rules for political objectives to crack down on four American tech giants: Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon (GAFA).
The outlandish fine is levied after French regulators found Apple guilty of controlling and fixing prices by making agreements with wholesalers to no to compete against each other. Allegedly, the tech giant only supplied products to resellers who agreed with its terms. Tech giant’s lawyers said that since regulators focused on the “goal to grab a GAFA”, they “seized upon a poorly crafted complaint from a premium reseller to build a case against Apple.”
Apple goes after french regulators in its appeal against $1.3 billion record-breaking fine
In court, Apple’s lawyer Melanie Thill-Tayara argued that the company’s measures in the French market did not put premium resellers at a disadvantage. And going after the regulators, she said the complaint was “artificially inflated”. She appealed to the court to overturn the penalty.
Thill-Tayara said that watchdogs relied on a false “theory” that the U.S. giant entered into anti-competitive agreements with two wholesalers, hurting premium resellers of non-iPhone products and unfairly favoring its own stores and website.
“The French Competition Authority clearly wanted to make a mark by hitting hard against Apple,” Thill-Tayara said at a hearing on Thursday. She said the allegations — suggesting that Apple squeezed out resellers of iPads and Mac computers — don’t stand up and asked that the fine be “purely and simply” overturned.
Cupertino tech giant has been slapped with huge fines this year. In April, Russia’s Federal Anti-Monopoly Service fined the tech giant $12 million for alleged abuse of its dominant position in the mobile applications market. In March, the Brazilian agency issued a $2 million fine for not including a charger with iPhone 12 and plans to do the same for iPhone 13. But the company has never been fined such a large amount as the one in France.