Apple accused of starving French reseller of hot stock
iPhone maker hauled into court over throttled supplies
Apple squeezed supplies to a top reseller and used its own retail stores to gain an unfair competitive advantage, claims a French shop chain that is taking Apple to court in Paris.
eBizcuss, the largest reseller in France, said that Apple favoured its own stores over theirs when it shipped out new and hotly demanded trendy tech gear.
A throttling of Apple deliveries, particularly reduced shipments of the iPad 2 and Macbook Air, cost the store a 30 per cent fall in revenue in quarter three this year, eBizcuss CEO Francois Prudent told Le Figaro (English report). Apple's own retail outlets continued to receive stock. More recently the reseller, which has 16 locations across France, was unable to get any stock of the iPhone 4S.
This was despite eBizcuss spending $6.5 million bringing its point-of-sale system up to the standard that Apple requested. Apple was also unfairly undercutting their distribution partners on price, alleges Prudent, with Apple offering corporate customers prices lower than they were giving to the reseller shops.
Apple has been sued by resellers in various countries, usually following the opening of its own retail stores. Prudent says that the problems began when Apple opened its first store in Paris in 2009. ®