France could hit Apple with antitrust fine over ‘sales and distribution’ network
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France’s antitrust competition watchdog will fine Apple over its “distribution and sales network” early next week, a report published Thursday claims.
Based on two sources close to the situation, Reuters says that a decision will be announced Monday.
The report on France’s antitrust fine does not comment on the content or size of the fine. The French competition authority haven’t commented either. In its latest annual report, Apple noted that the French competition authority has alleged that parts of Apple’s sales and distribution practices violates French law. Apple denies that this is the case.
This isn’t the first time that Apple has faced off with France’s antitrust watchdog. In 2013, French antitrust authorities raided Apple offices, wholesalers, and retail stores in France as part of an investigation. Apple was being investigated at the time for allegedly offering better deals through its own stores than via third-party retailers.
More recently, at the start of 2020, Apple was fined 25 million euros ($27.4 million) in France. This was after it was found guilty of intentionally throttling the speed of older iPhones with previous software updates for iOS.
The Reuters report notes that the head of France’s antitrust watchdog, Isabelle de Silva, has “set her sights” on U.S. tech giants. For instance, she has fined Google 150 million euros ($167 million) for opaque advertising rules. This latest complaint comes at a time when Apple is facing increased scrutiny, both at home and abroad, regarding its App Store policies. This incudes accusations that it abuses its power.