ANTITRUST

France Could Fine Apple Over Anticompetition Allegations

Apple may be in trouble over antitrust issues in France

Apple may be in hot water over reportedly anti-competitive behavior in France, with the country’s competition watchdog planning to fine the tech company, according to Reuters.

Isabelle de Silva, head of the French antitrust watchdog, has set her sights on accountability for Apple and other tech giants, like Google.

In its recent annual report, Apple made mention that French competition authorities were looking into the company’s practices of sales and distribution, namely in relation to wrongdoing on Apple’s part. Apple has denied any wrongdoing.

French consumer watchdog DGCCRF reported that Apple had agreed to pay a fee for reportedly not informing users about updates to the iPhone operating system that might slow down the device’s operations. Apple agreed to pay a 25 million euros ($28 million) fine in that case.

But competition authorities are not balking on looking more seriously at big tech companies, such as when De Silva’s department fined Google 150 million euros ($167.7 million) in a case involving arcane rules on advertising, which had to do with the way ads were placed on the Google Ads page.

Big tech companies have been met with more scrutiny as of late, looked at more seriously worldwide by regulators and leaders for various anti-competitive allegations. Apple is the subject of an ongoing probe by the U.S. Department of Justice, in which the tech company is accused of removing apps from its internet store and, as a result, damaging businesses which wanted to peddle their wares.

Apple responded that it removes apps for a variety of reasons, including age and compatibility with current devices all the time.

And Google’s recent acquisition of fitness company Fitbit came under scrutiny because authorities suspected the merger could potentially give Google too large of an edge with the amassing of data from Fitbit.

One source said the competition authority planned to decide Monday whether Apple has violated France’s rules.

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