苹果公司被罚款12亿美元
Apple Gets Hit With $1.2 Billion Fine

Apple Gets Hit With $1.2 Billion Fine

苹果公司被罚款12亿美元

随着全球范围内对大型科技公司的反垄断审查不断加强,苹果刚刚因反竞争行为受到法国反垄断局开出的11亿欧元(合12亿美元)的创纪录罚单。监管机构还对分销商Tech Data和英迈分别处以7,610万欧元(8,490万美元)和6,300万欧元(7,020万美元)的罚款。

苹果香榭丽舍大街。图片来源:苹果。

苹果和分销商被指控

2012年,苹果经销商eBizcuss在经营了30多年后破产。该公司迅速向巴黎法院和反垄断监管机构提起诉讼,指控苹果从事不公平的行为。次年,法国反垄断机构突击搜查了苹果的办公室,以及其他分销合作伙伴。

法国反垄断局主席伊莎贝尔·德·席尔瓦在一份声明中表示,苹果公司阻止了经销商之间的竞争,在这个过程中“给苹果产品的批发市场消毒”。据该机构称,如果经销商提供更低的价格,他们也会面临遭到抵制的风险。降价的效果是,苹果产品的零售价格在一半的零售市场上保持一致。这家库比蒂诺科技巨头随后被指滥用市场权力,支持建立一个“综合分销商”网络。

批发商Tech Data和英迈被指控与所有这三种反竞争行为同行,而没有执行自己的政策。像eBizcuss这样规模较小的分销商利润率已经非常低,而且在经济上依赖苹果,法国当局认为滥用经济依赖“特别严重”。

据称,当新产品发布时,苹果将限制一些经销商的库存,同时支持自己的苹果商店和首选的批发商。这些被指控的不当操作发生在2005年至2013年。

正在上诉

正如人们所预料的那样,英迈不同意这些调查结果,并在一份新闻稿中表示,它将在法国法庭上“强烈反对”这一裁决。该公司表示,这些指控是虚假的,而且法国的分销市场“竞争极其激烈”。

“法国反垄断局的决定令人沮丧。”苹果公司发言人乔希·罗森斯托克在一份声明中告诉《纽约时报》,“它与十多年前的做法有关,抛弃了法国所有公司依赖的30年的法律先例,这一秩序将给所有行业的公司带来混乱。”苹果公司也将对这一决定提起上诉。

长期以来,苹果一直采用价格维持策略,通过一系列保密协议和合同条款,对批发分销的几乎每一个方面都施加了独特的控制。这就是为什么第三方经销商的折扣通常很少。

As antitrust scrutiny of major tech corporations intensifies around the world, Apple has just been hit with a record fine of 1.1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) by the French Competition Authority over allegations of anticompetitive conduct. Regulators also imposed fines of 76.1 million euros ($84.9 million) and 63 million euros ($70.2 million) on distributors Tech Data and Ingram Micro, respectively.

Apple Champs Elysees. Image source: Apple.

What Apple and distributors are accused of

Back in 2012, Apple reseller eBizcuss went bankrupt after over three decades in business. The company promptly filed complaints with Parisian courts and antitrust regulators, alleging that Apple was engaging in unfair practices. The French Competition Authority raided Apple's offices the following year, along with the other distribution partners.

In a statement, French Competition Authority President Isabelle de Silva says that Apple prevented distributors from competing with each other, "sterilizing the wholesale market for Apple products" in the process. Distributors also risked backlash if they offered lower prices, which had the effect of aligning retail prices of Apple products across half of the retail market, according to the agency. The Cupertino tech giant then allegedly abused its market power and favored a network of "integrated distributors."

Wholesalers Tech Data and Ingram Micro are accused of going along with all three of the anticompetitive practices instead of implementing their own policies. Smaller distributors like eBizcuss already have extremely thin margins and had an economic dependence on Apple, and French authorities consider an abuse of economic dependence to be "particularly serious."

When new products were launched, Apple would purportedly limit inventory available to some distributors while favoring its own Apple Stores and preferred wholesalers. The alleged improper practices occurred from 2005 to 2013.

Appeals are coming

As one might expect, Ingram Micro disagrees with the findings and in a release said it would "vigorously contest" the decision in the French courts. The company says the allegations are false and that the distribution market in France is "extremely competitive."

"The French Competition Authority's decision is disheartening," Apple spokesperson Josh Rosenstock told The New York Times in a statement. "It relates to practices from over a decade ago and discards 30 years of legal precedent that all companies in France rely on with an order that will cause chaos for companies across all industries." Apple will also appeal the decision.

Apple has long utilized a price maintenance strategy, exerting characteristic control over virtually every aspect of wholesale distribution with a web of confidential agreements and contractual clauses. That's why discounts at third-party resellers are often minimal.

As antitrust scrutiny of major tech corporations intensifies around the world, Apple has just been hit with a record fine of 1.1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) by the French Competition Authority over allegations of anticompetitive conduct. Regulators also imposed fines of 76.1 million euros ($84.9 million) and 63 million euros ($70.2 million) on distributors Tech Data and Ingram Micro, respectively.

随着全球范围内对大型科技公司的反垄断审查不断加强,苹果刚刚因反竞争行为受到法国反垄断局开出的11亿欧元(合12亿美元)的创纪录罚单。监管机构还对分销商Tech Data和英迈分别处以7,610万欧元(8,490万美元)和6,300万欧元(7,020万美元)的罚款。

Apple Champs Elysees. Image source: Apple.

苹果香榭丽舍大街。图片来源:苹果。

What Apple and distributors are accused of

苹果和分销商被指控

Back in 2012, Apple reseller eBizcuss went bankrupt after over three decades in business. The company promptly filed complaints with Parisian courts and antitrust regulators, alleging that Apple was engaging in unfair practices. The French Competition Authority raided Apple's offices the following year, along with the other distribution partners.

2012年,苹果经销商eBizcuss在经营了30多年后破产。该公司迅速向巴黎法院和反垄断监管机构提起诉讼,指控苹果从事不公平的行为。次年,法国反垄断机构突击搜查了苹果的办公室,以及其他分销合作伙伴。

In a statement, French Competition Authority President Isabelle de Silva says that Apple prevented distributors from competing with each other, "sterilizing the wholesale market for Apple products" in the process. Distributors also risked backlash if they offered lower prices, which had the effect of aligning retail prices of Apple products across half of the retail market, according to the agency. The Cupertino tech giant then allegedly abused its market power and favored a network of "integrated distributors."

法国反垄断局主席伊莎贝尔·德·席尔瓦在一份声明中表示,苹果公司阻止了经销商之间的竞争,在这个过程中“给苹果产品的批发市场消毒”。据该机构称,如果经销商提供更低的价格,他们也会面临遭到抵制的风险。降价的效果是,苹果产品的零售价格在一半的零售市场上保持一致。这家库比蒂诺科技巨头随后被指滥用市场权力,支持建立一个“综合分销商”网络。

Wholesalers Tech Data and Ingram Micro are accused of going along with all three of the anticompetitive practices instead of implementing their own policies. Smaller distributors like eBizcuss already have extremely thin margins and had an economic dependence on Apple, and French authorities consider an abuse of economic dependence to be "particularly serious."

批发商Tech Data和英迈被指控与所有这三种反竞争行为同行,而没有执行自己的政策。像eBizcuss这样规模较小的分销商利润率已经非常低,而且在经济上依赖苹果,法国当局认为滥用经济依赖“特别严重”。

When new products were launched, Apple would purportedly limit inventory available to some distributors while favoring its own Apple Stores and preferred wholesalers. The alleged improper practices occurred from 2005 to 2013.

据称,当新产品发布时,苹果将限制一些经销商的库存,同时支持自己的苹果商店和首选的批发商。这些被指控的不当操作发生在2005年至2013年。

Appeals are coming

正在上诉

As one might expect, Ingram Micro disagrees with the findings and in a release said it would "vigorously contest" the decision in the French courts. The company says the allegations are false and that the distribution market in France is "extremely competitive."

正如人们所预料的那样,英迈不同意这些调查结果,并在一份新闻稿中表示,它将在法国法庭上“强烈反对”这一裁决。该公司表示,这些指控是虚假的,而且法国的分销市场“竞争极其激烈”。

"The French Competition Authority's decision is disheartening," Apple spokesperson Josh Rosenstock told The New York Times in a statement. "It relates to practices from over a decade ago and discards 30 years of legal precedent that all companies in France rely on with an order that will cause chaos for companies across all industries." Apple will also appeal the decision.

“法国反垄断局的决定令人沮丧。”苹果公司发言人乔希·罗森斯托克在一份声明中告诉《纽约时报》,“它与十多年前的做法有关,抛弃了法国所有公司依赖的30年的法律先例,这一秩序将给所有行业的公司带来混乱。”苹果公司也将对这一决定提起上诉。

Apple has long utilized a price maintenance strategy, exerting characteristic control over virtually every aspect of wholesale distribution with a web of confidential agreements and contractual clauses. That's why discounts at third-party resellers are often minimal.

长期以来,苹果一直采用价格维持策略,通过一系列保密协议和合同条款,对批发分销的几乎每一个方面都施加了独特的控制。这就是为什么第三方经销商的折扣通常很少。