Thanks to Dutch technology website Tweakers’ Arnoud Wokke for pointing this one out before any of the major sites have – Apple has been fined for 1.1 billion euros by the French competition authority for anti-competitive practices. You can read the announcement in French, too.
The short of it is that between 2005 and 2013, Apple primarily sold its products in France through two specific wholesalers, who have also been fined, and the three of them agreed not to compete, limiting competition. Apple also imposed pricing upon its independent Authorised Resellers and Premium Resellers, making it impossible for them to compete on price. In addition, Apple also limited the supply given to these resellers compared to its own stores, which further limited the their ability to function.
What’s interesting here is that this is Apple’s modus operandi all over Europe and the rest of the world, so it wouldn’t surprise me if other EU countries will work off of this ruling in the near future. This kind of illegal behaviour by massive corporations has gone unpunished for long enough, and it’s high time serious punishments are doled out.
Good on the French authorities for this one.
I will never understand the eurocrats:
1. Software patent abuse to crush upcoming competition-> OK, go ahead
2. Proprietary formats -> OK, go ahead
3. Abusive and vendor-locked DRM in iTunes -> OK, go ahead
4. Walled garden iOS -> OK, go ahead
5. Some selling shenanigans -> zOMG anti-competivie behaviorz!!!111