US tech firm Apple has been found guilty of anti-competitive behaviour by a French antitrust body and fined €1.1 billion (US$1.32 billion).
The firm was found to have fixed costs for its French wholesalers to force them to set retail prices aligned with Apple’s own, both in-store and online.
The fine is the largest ever imposed by the French antitrust body and addresses Apple’s actions to prevent the wholesalers from freely setting their own business policies. The two wholesalers were also hit with large fines.
“Apple and its two wholesalers agreed not to compete with each other and to prevent distributors from competing with each other,” read a statement from the French regulator, “thereby sterilising the wholesale market for Apple products”.
Apple will appeal the ruling, claiming the ruling “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”.