The French competition watchdog – L’Autorité de la Concurrence – growled and issued its largest ever fine, against Apple, Tech Data and Ingram Micro, amounting to €1.24 billion in total.
Ingram Micro has rejected allegations by an antitrust authority that it fixed Apple product prices in the French market, describing them as “absolutely false”.
The watchdog claims Apple and its distributors acted like a “cartel”, illegally preventing Apple Premium Resellers (APRs) from competing on price against Apple’s own stores and subjecting the French channel to “unfair and unfavourable commercial conditions”.
Ingram Micro has said it intends to “vigorously contest this decision to the French judiciary”.
“Ingram Micro is absolutely disappointed with the decision of the French Competition Authority to uphold one of the grievances raised against it by the investigation services”, the distributor said in a statement.
“The French Competition Authority penalised Ingram Micro excessively because of so-called restricted practices towards its resellers, which they claim have a negative impact on consumers in France. These claims are absolutely false.”
The California-headquartered distributor went on to claim that the distribution market in France is “extremely competitive for IT distributors”.