French antitrust authorities on Monday fined Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) $1.2 billion for anti-competitive behavior.
The French Competition Authority, in its biggest-ever sanction, said the iPhone-maker was guilty of creating cartels within its distribution network and abusing the economic dependence of its outside resellers.
“Apple and its two wholesalers agreed not to compete and prevent distributors from competing with each other, thereby sterilizing the wholesale market for Apple products,” said Isabelle de Silva, president of the French Competition Authority.
A spokesperson for Apple told CNBC: “The French Competition Authority’s decision is disheartening. It 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. We strongly disagree with them and plan to appeal.”
Monday’s announcement is the second fine that French authorities have imposed on Apple in two months. The regulators hit Apple with a $27.8 million fine in February over its software updates, which were concluded to have slowed down older iPhones.
Apple shares were down more than 7% to $$256.62 a share amid a broad-based move lower in stock markets.