France fines Apple $1.2 billion for anti-competitive acts

PARIS (AP) — French regulators fined Apple 1.1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) on Monday for striking deals to keep prices high, in the biggest-ever such sanction by France’s Competition Authority.

The agency said Apple and top re-sellers agreed to align prices with Apple’s own pricing for its iPads and some other products. The deals did not concern iPhones.

Apple did not immediately respond to request for comment.

Two “premium” French Apple re-sellers, Tech Data and Ingram Micro, were also fined a total of 139 million euros ($155 million). The competition authority said Apple and the re-sellers agreed not to compete.

“Apple abusively exploited" distributors’ dependence on the tech giant, the authority wrote, and “prevented competition among different Apple distribution channels.” And that, in turn, hurt consumers.

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