An IT reseller and distributor called Taboada & Barros in Portugal is suing Apple over claims of fixing prices and unfair trade prices, asking for 40 million Euros in damages.
Details were first reported in the Portuguese weekly newspaper Sol. The newspaper reports that the suite stretches back to February but seems to have been made public now with action being taken by the Portuguese Association for Consumer Protection.
Taboada & Barros, which controls a large Apple distributer called Interlog, claims that Apple’s international restrictions on the quantity of products it distributes through third parties led to a failure of Interlog. Taboada & Barros says,
“Apple arrived in Portugal in 2007 and the following year, usurped the distribution channels that were assembled by Interlog for over 20 years, taking over from our distributors.”
Back in May 2011, a Portuguese business news site Economico highlights how demand has outstripped supply at resellers with iPhone, iPads and other devices not arriving after March (due to Interlog failing).
Taboada & Barros says that on top of Apple restricting the flow of products to third parties, they also renegotiated margins that resellers can take on products down to 4 percent from a previous 12 percent. The margin reduction and lost sales over supply issues are factors in the request for 40 million Euros in damages.
The unfair practices can also end up damaging Apple’s reputation in the country.