Do French Antitrust Problems Bode Poorly for Apple?
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has had a busy week, first dealing with flak for not paying taxes in the U.K., applying for an iWatch patent in Japan in Russia, and now, getting raided on behalf of an angry French businessman.
According to a statement by the French competition regulator, offices were raided as a part of ongoing antitrust investigations by a watchdog group.
The concerns arose over Apples pricing practices, which one French retailer, eBizcuss, claims put it out of business. The French company claims that Apple didn’t keep its stores stocked enough to be competitive — and moreover, that it charged more for the iPhones wholesale to the retailer than it did to consumers. Sales last quarter were down 30 percent for eBizcuss, and according to chief executive Francois Prudent, this is because they were not supplied with enough iPads or MacBook Airs.
Culture taxes are also becoming a thorn in Apple’s side, as the French government is considering a 1 percent tax on the sale of smartphones, tablets, and other devices in order to spend the funds on various cultural initiatives. A previous fund existed in 2011, and Apple has been in hot water over not paying that tax as well.