Tech Data in Successful Challenge of €76 Million FCA Fine

October 6, 2022

Cleary Gottlieb represented Tech Data in obtaining the reformation, on appeal, of a French Competition Authority (FCA) decision relating to the distribution of Apple products in France.

In March 2020, after a lengthy investigation, the FCA found that, between December 2005 and March 2013, Tech Data had participated in a vertical agreement with Apple to allocate volumes of Apple products to be delivered to Apple’s network of resellers in France. Separately, the FCA also found that Apple had entered into resale price maintenance and abuse of economic dependency practices. Consequently, the FCA imposed record fines of more than €1.2 billion, including a €76.1 million fine on Tech Data.

In a ruling issued on October 6, 2022, the Paris Court of Appeals held that the FCA had failed to provide adequate evidence of the existence of an agreement over the entire 2005-2013 period and held that the infringement relating to allocations could only be established as from November 2009.

Additionally, the Court held that several determinants used by the FCA to calculate the fines were disproportionate. In particular, the Court reduced the increase of Tech Data’s FCA fine from 50% to 8%.

As a result of the above, the Court significantly reduced the fines imposed on Apple, Ingram, and Tech Data. Tech Data’s fine was reduced from €76.1 million to €24.9 million.