March 12, 2020 / 5:53 PM / 23 days ago

French watchdog to fine Apple over anti-competitive behaviour, sources say

FILE PHOTO: The Apple Inc. logo is seen hanging at the entrance to the Apple store on 5th Avenue in Manhattan, New York, U.S., October 16, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) - France’s competition watchdog is set to fine iPhone maker Apple Inc (AAPL.O) next Monday over anti-competitive behaviour in its distribution and sales network, two sources close to the matter said on Thursday.

One of the sources said the competition authority will give a decision on the matter on Monday, confirming an earlier report by online news website Politico Europe.

The two sources did not elaborate further on the content or the size of the fine. The French competition authority declined to comment.

From her appointment as the head of the French antitrust watchdog, Isabelle de Silva has set her sights on U.S. tech giants, including Alphabet Inc’s (GOOGL.O) Google, fined 150 million euros (132.33 million pounds) for opaque advertising rules.

Apple mentioned in its latest annual report that France’s competition authority was alleging that aspects of the its sales and distribution practices were violating French competition law, which it denies.

The French consumer watchdog DGCCRF said earlier this year that the California-based company agreed to pay 25 million euros ($28 million) for failing to inform iPhone users that updates of the operating system could slow down the functioning of the device.

Additional reporting by Gwénaëlle Barzic; Editing by Geert De Clercq and Lisa Shumaker

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