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Apple raided in France over antitrust allegations

Zut trade laws
Mon Jul 01 2013, 15:05
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GADGET DESIGNER Apple reportedly has been raided in France by antitrust enforcement officers concerned about unfair business practices.

We are waiting for Apple to confirm reports from French language news website Les Echos, but had not heard anything at the time of publication. 

On the website we read that Apple was raided because it might be harming French retailers by offering the best deals on its gadgets in its own stores.

The report said that Apple and a number of wholesalers including Ingram Micro and Techdata were raided by the Autorite de la Concurrence last week. Documents were taken by investigators and are being examined. Investigators spent about 24 hours on the premises that were searched.

An Ingram Micro spokesperson told The INQUIRER in a statement "I can confirm that the French competition authorities have visited Ingram Micro and that we are fully cooperating with the investigation." Techdata was not immediately available for comment. 

In a lawsuit Apple was accused of "abuse of dominance", "abuse of economic dependence" and "unfair competition" by French retailer eBizcuss, which went bankrupt late in 2011.

The allegation in the complaint was that Apple kept back its stock for its own shops, while releasing only a few pieces of hardware to other retailers. The lawsuit alleged that this started to become a problem when Apple opened its own retail stores in France.

The company said that it saw sales fall by as much as 30 percent as stock began to dry up. CEO François Prudent told Le Figaro that the iPad 2, Macbook Air and iPhone were hard to come by at the time. µ


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