Apple accused of Japan skulduggery - Mobile World Live

Apple accused of Japan skulduggery

06 AUG 2019

Japanese authorities began probing whether Apple used its clout to force domestic companies into signing unfavourable deals and refusing requests for subsequent revisions.

Local newspaper The Mainichi reported Japan’s Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) is investigating whether Apple breached monopoly laws in agreements involving at least ten local manufacturers of electronic and optical parts.

The iPhone maker stands accused of pressuring the companies to supply parts and technology for free on threat of Apple pulling its business. Another allegation states the US company artificially influenced the price of parts by revealing Japanese technology and expertise to competitors; while another company told JFTC it had been subject to a clause barring it from supplying other businesses, along with a stipulation it would be liable for any costs relating to disputes with Apple.

An Apple Japan representative told The Mainichi all discussions were handled by the vendor’s US headquarters, arguing it was impossible for the company to agree deals which do not comply with local legislation.

The potential breaches of Japanese law came to light in a JFTC survey of local businesses in late 2018. The authority is concerned Apple leveraged its strength in the global smartphone market to force Japanese companies to accept terms which were not in their favour, the newspaper stated.

However, The Mainichi noted the Japanese companies involved are “major companies”, prompting debate among experts as to whether Apple truly held so much sway over them.

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Michael Carroll

Michael doesn’t want to admit that he has been a journalist and editor for close to 20 years covering a diverse set of subjects including shipping and shipbuilding, fixed and mobile telecoms, and motorcycling...More

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