Press review
8 March 2024

Press review – Week of 4 March 2024

This week’s press review covers the conviction of Apple to a 1.8 billion euros fine by the European Commission for abusing its dominant position, the entry into force of the Digital Markets Act, the appointment of Antoine Magnant as Chief executive of TRACFIN and the conviction of the Wildenstein heirs for tax fraud.

 

#International Commercial dispute:

The European Commission sentences Apple to a 1.8 billion euros fine for “abuse of its dominant position” in the music market

The European Commission has fined Apple 1.84 billion euros for abusing its dominant position in the online music market. The Commission found that Apple, through its AppStore application store, had imposed restrictions aimed at preventing application developers from promoting services that were not part of the Apple “ecosystem”. In calculating the fine, the Commission took account of the group’s worldwide turnover and the need for the penalty to be sufficiently dissuasive. Apple has announced that it will appeal the decision, invoking notably the lack of prejudice for consumers. > Read article

 

#Ethics & Compliance:

 European Union: 5 minutes to understand the DMA, a new law to boost competition against tech giants

The new European Digital Markets Act (DMA) came into force on Wednesday 6 March 2024. It aims to put an end to the abuse of dominant positions by major digital companies in order to protect and develop the European digital market. Known as “gatekeepers”, these platforms, mainly owned by GAFAM, are now subject to strict measures, such as informing the European Commission of any planned acquisition of a digital company in Europe, or prohibiting Google, for example, from favoring services belonging to the same group. The European Commission has powers of control and sanctions that can range from a fine of 10% of worldwide sales to dismantling the company by selling off its activities. > Read article

 

#White collar crime:

Antoine Magnant appointed head of Tracfin, Bercy’s Financial Information Unit

On 6 March 2024, Antoine Magnant has been appointed Chief executive of Tracfin, the financial intelligence unit of the French Ministry of the Economy, responsible for combating money laundering, terrorist financing and tax fraud. Antoine Magnant is a graduate of the Ecole Nationale d’Administration and is presented by Bercy as specialized “in taxation, accounting, the fight against fraud and in the organization and improvement of the performance, operational and human, of the Directorate General of Public Finance”. On 1 April, he will replace Alban Genais, who has held the position on an interim basis since the departure of Guillaume Valette-Valla, whose management was criticized in an internal report. > Read article

The heirs of the Wildenstein art family condemned for colossal tax fraud 

The heirs of the Wildenstein art merchant family and their advisors (lawyers and notaries) were convicted of tax fraud by the Paris Court of Appeal on Tuesday 5 March. This conviction follows two acquittals in 2017 and 2018, on the grounds that French law did not contain clear declarative obligation prior to the introduction of a law on trusts in 2011. The Cour de Cassation ordered a third trial to be held from 18 September to 4 October 2023, at the end of which the defendants were found guilty of concealing significant assets in trusts relating to the estates of Daniel Wildenstein, who died in 2001, and Alec Senior, who died in 2008. Among those convicted were Guy Wildenstein, Daniel Wildenstein’s son, who was sentenced to four years’ imprisonment, two of which were suspended, and ordered to pay a fine of one million euros, and his nephew, Alec Junior, who was given a two-year suspended prison sentence. > Read article

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