Not the Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) of the French eye
On Monday, Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s offices were raided by French authorities in connection with an ongoing antitrust investigation. The accusation is that AAPL has been favoring its company stores over other independent retailers. French officials have not yet made any official comments on this investigation apart from confirming that it is in progress. Local news reported that the company discriminates against other retailers as the prices that it offers are better than theirs.
The raid lasted for around 24 hours and it was reported that investigators apparently confiscated numerous documents from the premises. The first allegations of various unfair business-practices hade been levied against the company, last year. This was at the point of time when eBizcuss, the popular French retailer went bankrupt.
The retailer had reportedly accused Apple of unfair competition, abusing its dominance as well as abusing economic-dependence. Apart from this, AAPL has been accused of favoring Apple stores in terms of distributing new items. In effect, this left other distributors and retailers of its products at a disadvantage. eBizcuss had stated that it had to literally wait for the latest Mac computer or the iPhone even though these very same products would be easily available at the APPL store.
The purpose of antitrust laws
Antitrust laws have been set up solely to promote as well as protect competition. They are not meant to be consumer protection laws or even punish large companies only because they are well, large. Very importantly, they were never anti-business or anti-market in their implementation or underlying conception. On the contrary, these antitrust laws were set-up with the intention of promoting healthy competition and market economics in every market. They are meant to check abuses that crop up in various markets and maintain the robustness of the market.
Simply put, in any market, it is vigorous competition that keeps sellers honest. It compels them to continually strive to improve their services and goods and also offer them on certain favorable terms so that customers benefit from the arising competition. And when large global companies like Apple break these laws, there is no way they will be able to overstep the repercussions.