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Apple’s billion dollar antitrust fine in France cut to $366 million

Apple’s billion dollar antitrust fine in France cut to $366 million


Both Apple and France’s competition authority may try to change the ruling again

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Illustration depicting several Apple logos on a lime green background.
It’s a big discount.
Kristen Radtke / The Verge

An appeals court in France has slashed Apple’s antitrust fine from €1.1 billion to €372 million (about $366 million), calling the original penalty “disproportionate” and saying that the new amount was “sufficient” to dissuade the company from bad behavior, according to reports from Reuters and Bloomberg. The fine is originally from 2020, and was levied by the French competition authority Autorité de la Concurrence, which accused Apple of manipulating the retail market for its products.

According to the authority, which began its investigation in 2012, Apple had agreed to not compete with two of its wholesalers, and it restricted some retailers from lowering prices on its products. It also accused the company of limiting how many iPads it gave some retailers compared to the supply it gave its own stores.

Apple thinks the fine should be lower, the Autorité wants it to be “dissuasive”

In a statement to Reuters, an unnamed Apple spokesperson said that it planned to appeal the fine’s reduction, as the company believes it shouldn’t have to pay anything because “the decision relates to practices from more than a decade ago.” By the same token, Bloomberg reports that the regulator is also considering appealing, as it wants to “guarantee the dissuasive nature of our penalties, especially when it concerns market players” of Apple’s size, according to Autorité spokesperson Virginie Guin.

France isn’t the only place where Apple faces antitrust action; the EU is pursuing the company for its App Store policies, as well as its refusal to let third-party wallets use the iPhone’s NFC functionality for payments. In the US, there are several antitrust cases involving Apple working their way through the courts, including ones brought by Epic Games and the creator of Cydia, and there are reports that the Department of Justice is considering bringing a case against the tech giant as well.