France’s national competition regulator announced on Monday it has fined American tech giant Apple a record €1.1 billion ($1.23bn) for anti-competitive practices after nearly a decade of investigations.
The decision comes over Apple’s alleged anti-competitive behavior in its distribution and sales networks.
The authority said that two of Apple’s wholesalers, Tech Data and Ingram Micro, were fined €63 million and €76 million respectively for unlawfully agreeing on prices.
According to the French regulator, “Apple and its two wholesalers have agreed not to compete with each other and to prevent distributors from competing with each other, thereby sterilising the wholesale market for Apple products.”
Last month, the country’s Directorate-General for Competition, Consumption and the Suppression of Fraud fined Apple €25 million for the firm’s practice of slowing down iPhones after operating system updates. This followed Apple’s release of an iOS update several years ago that introduced a new feature for older devices.
The US company then admitted to slowing down older iPhone models to keep them running longer. A wave of legal cases followed Apple’s announcement. Apple said it had algorithms in place to help keep iPhones running at optimal performance if there is an older battery inside that can’t keep up with the required power. The company claims the measure was aimed at preventing devices from unexpected shutdowns and keeping them running at their best.