Regulators from Japan’s Fair Trade Commission (FTC) are targeting the Cupertino, Calif.-based company’s dealings with Japanese distributors, after learning that Apple barred Softbank Group and others from selling surplus inventory of older iPhones to third-party retailers. According to Reuters, Apple used its distributor contracts as a means to control iPhone demand in one of its largest markets.
The pending case is not Apple’s first run-in with antitrust regulators. Earlier this summer the company paid out $400 million to e-book customers after losing its appeal to a 2013 court ruling that found it guilty of price fixing.
The FTC has not yet indicated what, if any, penalties or fines it plans to pursue. AH