The Autorité de la concurrence imposes a fine of 1.7 billion euros in 2020, the highest level of sanction in its history

Apple received the record fine of 1.1 billion euros.

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In 2020, the Competition Authority, responsible in particular for combating anti-competitive practices, imposed a total of 1.7 billion euros in fines, according to its latest report published Thursday, July 8. This is the highest level of fines since its inception in 2009.

The digital giant Apple was the most sanctioned with the record fine of 1.1 billion euros in fines. Among the other flagship cases of this year 2020, the conviction in September of the laboratories Novartis, Roche and Genentech to the tune of 444 million euros for “abusive practices”, the laboratories which are accused of having sought to “preserve “sales of a drug treating macular degeneration (AMLD) at the expense of a cheaper competitor treatment. In July 2020, 12 delicatessen manufacturers, the “ham cartel”, were ordered to pay 93 million euros in total for price agreements. In November, professional bodies of dental surgeons were sanctioned to the tune of 4 million euros for having orchestrated the boycott of certain health mutuals.

These high levels of fines could be exceeded in the coming years thanks to a new method of calculating penalties, introduced by the law of 3 December 2020 on various provisions for adapting to European Union law in economic and financial matters (known as DDADUE law). Sanctions are no longer subject to an absolute cap (previously set at 3 million euros) but can now reach up to 10% of the total turnover of member companies of the organizations.

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