Tech Data appeals $83 million fine in French antitrust case with Apple

Tech Data announced on Tuesday, March 24, that it disagrees with the findings of the French government agency that fined the Largo-based technology distribution company $83.7 million a week ago and plans to appeal.

“In the area of ​​competition law, Tech Data fully complies with all applicable antitrust and competition laws wherever it operates and is committed to competing independently in the marketplace,” the company said in a news release. I will do my best to.”

In addition to the fine, France’s competition authority (Autorité de la Concurrence) imposed a record $1.2 billion fine on Apple and $69 million on a second wholesaler, Ingram Micro, based in Irvine, California. A fine of $1.00 was imposed.

Following the accusations, the agency launched investigations into three U.S. companies in 2012, seized company documents during raids in 2013, and forced Apple, Tech Data, and Ingram Micro to sell Apple products from 2005 to 2013. It concluded that the company worked to stifle competition among its approximately 2,000 retail stores.

In announcing the appeal, Tech Data noted that the French competition authority’s English-language news release announcing the fine on March 16 had since been updated to remove references to U.S. companies operating as cartels.

Rather, the company said the agency’s decision concerns “alleged anticompetitive vertical agreements between Apple and its wholesalers regarding the volume allocation of Apple products” that do not include the iPhone.

“Apple and its two wholesalers have agreed not to compete and to prevent their distributors from competing with each other,” Competition Authority President Isabel de Silva said in an updated news release. “This will immortalize the wholesale market for Apple products.”

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