Japanese regulator Fair Trade Commission (FTC) is planning to take action against Apple and three carriers in the country for the possible antitrust violations. For the purpose, FTC is reviewing Apple’s supply agreements with the operators.
According to the allegation, carriers NTT Docomo, KDDI Corp, and Softbank Group refuse to sell the older iPhone models to third-party retailers. The surplus stock of older iPhones are kept out of the market and are sent to overseas markets such as Hong Kong, according to Reuters.
Also, it is said that these carriers buy iPhones in bulk and sell them at huge discounts, which give Apple advantage over its competitors like Samsung.
To say, the iPhone 7 and Galaxy S7 Edge is available through NTT Docomo without a contract for 93,960 yen ($932). However, if the buyer opts for a two-year contract, the price of iPhone would drop to 38,232 yen ($379). The price of Galaxy S7 Edge, at the same time, will drop only to 54,432 yen ($539).
“We are getting closer to taking action,” Reuters quoted an unnamed official of FTC. The carriers have denied any wrongdoing in their parts.
Meanwhile, Japan is one of Apple’s most profitable markets. If to recap, Apple’s quarterly revenue dropped in every region except Japan. In Japan, the sales rose 23% to reach $3.5 billion. He three aforementioned carriers involved in this allegation holds 90% of Japan’s mobile phone market.
The FTC has not revealed any deadline for the action or the penalty to be paid, in case if the allegation is proved to be right.