Ruling in Apple’s favor, a French court drastically reduced the 1.1 billion euro fine to 372 million euros ($366.31 million).
The billion-dollar fine was imposed by the French Competition Authority in 2020 which found that Apple’s behavior towards its distribution and retail network was anti-competitive.
The tech giant was accused of controlling and fixing prices by making agreements with wholesalers to not to compete against each other. Allegedly, the tech giant only supplied products to resellers who agreed with its terms.
In November 2021, Apple filed an appeal against the fine, accusing the French antitrust authority of bend rules for political objectives to crack down on four American tech giants: Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon (GAFA).
In the court, the company argued that its practices did not harm French premium resellers and that the regulators had “artificially inflated” the complaint to make a case against Apple. Therefore, the court should overturn the penalty.
Apple wins 2/3 of its appeal against French antitrust fine; the charge of abusing retailers’ dependency remains
Out of three counts, the French appeals court favored Apple on two charges: the fine’s amount was reduced and the charge of fixes pricing was tossed out. However, it upheld the charge that the company exploited retailers.
The appeals court backed the antitrust watchdog’s charge that Apple abused the retailers’ economic dependency on the company.
Ready to fight back, the tech giant said it will appeal the decision. Reuters reports:
“While the court correctly reversed part of the French Competition Authority’s decision, we believe it should be overturned in full and plan to appeal,” the U.S. company said in a statement sent to Reuters.
“The decision relates to practices from more than a decade ago that even the (French authority) recognised are no longer in use.”