Japanese FTC Investigating Apple's Partnerships With Suppliers

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Apr 12, 2001
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Japan's Fair Trade Commission is investigating Apple to determine whether it pressured Japanese suppliers and abused its position of power, thereby violating antimonopoly rules, reports Reuters.

The FTC in Japan surveyed Japanese companies and found that Apple had signed contracts forcing its partners to provide free technology and know-how for parts manufacturing.


When one of the companies called Apple's contract an infringement of intellectual property rights and demanded a revision, Apple allegedly threatened to end the business relationship between the two companies.

Apple has not commented on the report, but this is just one of several antitrust investigations that have been launched in recent months.

In South Korea, Apple has been accused of offering local carriers unfair iPhone contracts that require them to pay advertising and repair costs, and in Europe, the European Union is investigating Apple's App Store policies following an accusation from Spotify that said Apple uses its App Store to deliberately disadvantage other app developers.

In the United States, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission is investigating the impact of Apple's sales agreement with Amazon on independent resellers, and the U.S. has also launched a broad antitrust review into major tech companies.

Article Link: Japanese FTC Investigating Apple's Partnerships With Suppliers
 

libertysat

macrumors regular
Nov 10, 2010
160
33
"When one of the companies called Apple's contract an infringement of intellectual property rights and demanded a revision, Apple allegedly threatened to end the business relationship"

Not making excuses for Apple nor saying their approach is morally on up & up;

But if a company wants something & I don't want to fulfill all details of the deal - either compromise your morals or decline.

All the boohoo about China so called "stealing" our tech is bs
The companies wanted to do business in China so bad (pure greed) they caved and gave China what China wanted.

Google to their credit stood on their morals they bailed on China
 
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mtneer

macrumors 68030
Sep 15, 2012
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Realistically what can the Japanese FTC do? Levy a fine? Drag on a court case? I am not sure the Japanese economy can afford starting a trade war with the United States.
 

junior

macrumors 6502a
Mar 25, 2003
521
41
I watched a news program a few years back that followed a very small manufacturing factory here in Japan. As has often been the case in Japan, manufacturing craftsmanship is some of the best in the world, and they won business with Apple by creating a small metal part in an iPhone that no other manufacturer in the world could (think it was the iPhone 4 days maybe).
They continued manufacturing for a coupe of more models, but during this period was asked by Apple for details on its manufacturing process. They trusted Apple (silly maybe, but this place is run by a guy in his 60’s, being a craftsman all his life. Not a businessman), but turns out by the following year a large Chinese manufacturer had somehow figured out how to make the part that had been impossible for them, Apple quickly cut ties with the Japanese manufacturer and went with what was now a cheaper part made in China. I was disgusted at the time.
The Macrumors article might be talking about this particular case.
 

amartinez1660

macrumors member
Sep 22, 2014
60
34
As an Apple fanboy (I usually don’t realize it until I objectively see all the apple/beats/etc gadgets I own and have owned during the years)... this is really upsetting if any of these is remotely true.
What gives? The company is already top-cash-cow and golden goose all in one. We already pay overpriced devices. The per device profit is through the roof... why f*ck over a 60 year old expert in his art metallurgic craftsman like in an alluded tv show above?
I don’t get it... now, I think Apple is so big that it can come on so many levels. Example, some minor executive director of logistics wants to make his meaty bonus and look good in front of his direct boss, whom also wants to look great to his own boss. So on and so forth. Now, the company culture is nurturing this nevertheless.
At some point people will stop playing the business game with apple... this is psychology and business 101. Even when someone has all the tools to win in a “game”, if that person don’t let the other win at least 30% of the time, the other one will stop playing. It has been proven at all levels: with rats, kids, humans and general statistics.
 
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mtneer

macrumors 68030
Sep 15, 2012
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Why would you think this has anything to do with a trade war? It has nothing to do with a trade war.
I was assuming that any action on Apple would be perceived as an unjust trade action by Washington and hence - a "war" would start.
 

pika2000

macrumors 603
Jun 22, 2007
5,413
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These kind of things might sound bombastic, but it’s normal in every business trade negotiations/contracts. There can be knowledge transfers, cost absorptions, and other clauses in huge contracts like Apple’s. This is valid in any companies, even huge Japanese companies have sometimes “weird” contracts if one had been on the inside and looked. Since we would not know the real deal behind these stuff, it’s probably better to just take a step back and observe instead of rambling nonsense like the typical blogger.
 

Baymowe335

macrumors 603
Oct 6, 2017
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The unfortunate thing about capitalism is that profit takes priority, resulting in very distasteful decisions. I’m a share holder myself, but I believe ethics should take priority over profit.
There is nothing unethical proven by this report.

Business isn’t enough or always fair. It’s business. You use advantages.

Disney does it in the way they treat theaters. It ain’t easy.
 

GeoStructural

macrumors regular
Oct 8, 2016
171
497
Colombia
Apple needs to be stopped.

1. The fact that they charge you for selling your apps in the AppStore and this being the only way to do so but being unfairly given a second place in searches for native (less useful) apps that appear on top, that is plain wrong.

2. The fee manufacturers have to pay for “MFi” or “genuine” Apple third parties is also quite macabre.

3. The many ways they try to impede your right to repare YOUR devices, that is also something that should be addressed.
 
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Baymowe335

macrumors 603
Oct 6, 2017
5,210
9,137
The unfortunate thing about capitalism is that profit takes priority, resulting in very distasteful decisions. I’m a share holder myself, but I believe ethics should take priority over profit.
There is nothing unethical proven by this report.

Business isn’t enough or always fair. It’s business. You use advantages.

Disney does it in the way they treat theaters. Coke does it to retailers. It ain’t easy.
 

sw1tcher

macrumors 68000
Jan 6, 2004
1,580
1,818
The FTC in Japan surveyed Japanese companies and found that Apple had signed contracts forcing its partners to provide free technology and know-how for parts manufacturing.

When one of the companies called Apple's contract an infringement of intellectual property rights and demanded a revision, Apple allegedly threatened to end the business relationship between the two companies.
Thought I was reading an article about China for a sec
 
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