Ingram Micro plans to vigorously contest the decision handed down by the French Competition Authority that came with a €63 million fine as part of an anti-competitive behaviour case involving Apple.
France’s competition watchdog fined Apple €1.1 billion (U.S.$1.23 billion), saying it was guilty of anti-competitive behaviour towards its distribution and retail network.
The French regulator said Apple imposed prices on retail premium resellers so that the prices were aligned with those charged by the California firm in its own shops, or on the Internet.
The watchdog said Apple’s two wholesalers in France, Ingram Micro and Tech Data, fully followed instructions on how to allocate its products to customers, instead of freely determining their commercial policy. Therefore the two were also fined €63 million and €76 million respectively.
Ingram Micro expressed its disappointment with the decision and has called for an extraordinary works council meeting with its employee representatives in France to discuss the impact of the decision.
“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,” Ingram said in a response.
“The IT distribution market in France, and in particular the distribution of Apple products, is extremely competitive for IT distributors.
"Ingram Micro remains firm and is confident that its actions and intentions have always been to bring IT products to its customers in France at the best possible value proposition and in compliance with applicable laws.
“Ingram Micro has fully complied with the applicable laws in this particular case and intends to vigorously contest this decision to the French judiciary. Ingram Micro has full trust in the impartiality of the French courts,” it said.
The fine is the biggest ever levied by the French antitrust body and Apple said it would appeal the watchdog’s ruling, which it said was at odds with legal precedent in France.