Apple has closed shops, faces a huge fine and the new iPhone has been delayed - will the company survive coronavirus?

Tuesday, 17th March 2020, 4:41 pm
Updated Tuesday, 17th March 2020, 4:41 pm

Companies, both big and small, have a tough few months ahead of them as governments around the world are weighing up the economic consequences of the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Tech giant, Apple, launched its iPhone 11 late last year but had to shut down most of its Chinese manufacturing plants in February. These have now mostly reopened, but the global spread of the pandemic is not making it easy for companies to pull materials and resources from other countries and then ship finished products back into the world.

Apple is also currently dealing with a fine of up to €1.1 billion, after a French commercial competition watchdog found the company guilty of teaming up rival markets - otherwise known as buying out their competitors.

France's competition watchdog, The Autorite de la Concurrence, has fined Apple with the largest amount ever demanded of a company.

Apple dominating the market

A complaint made in 2012 by a company called eBizcuss started the investigation. EBizcuss is a so-called 'Apple Premium Re-seller'.

The authority's chief Isabelle de Silva said, "Apple abusively exploited the economic dependence of these premium re-sellers on it and imposed unfair economic conditions on them that were worse than those for its integrated network of retailers."

The company replied in a statement, calling the decision “disheartening”’ and said it will appeal the ruling. The company stated that it relates to practices from over a decade ago and ignores “thirty years of legal precedent.”

Will Apple survive?

After tech conferences were cancelled around the world, major industries are going to be affected by the current outbreak of coronavirus. It is unlikely Apple will fold as it is one of the world's most powerful businesses, but that doesn't mean it has an easy journey ahead of it.

Apple has closed all of its stores outside of China until 27 March. CEO Tim Cook said, "The most effective way to minimise risk of the virus’s transmission is to reduce density and maximise social distance. We are committed to providing exceptional service to our customers.”