Leading CE Distributor Fined A$115M, Apple Hit A$1.8 Billion
Leading IT distributor Ingram Micro has found themselves front and centre of a fight that has seen Apple fined A$1.8 Billion by Frances antitrust watchdog, for alleged anti-competitive practices.
Ingram Micro who were also nobbled by the French authorities distribute Apple products in Australia.
The French Competition Authority issued the fine the largest it has ever imposed on a single firm — after finding the tech giant “guilty of cartels” and of abusing its resellers’ economic dependence.
In Australia Apple is well known for bullying resellers and distributors of their products.
US distributor Tech Data and Ingram Micro were fined a combined total of A$230 Million separately to the Apple judgement, Ingram Micro’s share of the judgement was A$115 Million.
“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,” Isabelle de Silva, the competition authority’s president, said in a translated news release.
The two distributors implemented the “product and customer allocation mechanisms” that Apple developed instead of setting their own policy, according to French officials.
Apple also caused supply issues and “discriminatory treatment” for the company’s resellers, according to the competition authority.
Apple like in the past claim that they “vigorously disagrees” with the competition authority’s allegations.
At this stage it’s not known whether the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission will investigate Apple distribution practises in Australia following the judgement.
A spokesperson for Apple said that they plan to appeal and called the decision “disheartening.”
Ingram Micro also said it was “absolutely disappointed” with the authority’s decision and planned to contest it.