updated 09:42 am EDT, Mon July 1, 2013
Company unfairly favoring own stores over retail partners, complaints say
Apple's French headquarters was recently raided in the course of an antitrust investigation by the country's competition regulators, local reports say. Government authorities seized documents related to a complaint by Apple reseller eBizcuss, which went bankrupt last year. Following the bankruptcy, eBizcuss complained that Apple was engaging in unfair competition, making sure its own stores are well-stocked with new products while limiting what resellers have access to.
French regulators are also reportedly investigating the App Store. The company is said to have raised the minimum selling price for magazines and newspapers last year, prompting concerns that Apple was making it difficult for smaller developers to compete. The Groupement des Editeurs de Services en Ligne, also known as GESTE, says it "regretted the unilateral and brutal decision" by Apple.
In general, Apple has been facing more intense scrutiny of its business practices in Europe than in the US. While it has had to deal with things like a probe into its tax practices and antitrust charges over its e-book deals, in Europe the company has not only had to deal with equivalent issues, but also complaints about warranty practices and its deals with iPhone carriers.