Apple is being sued by its largest reseller in France. Profit by eBizcuss’s 16 locations dropped 30 percent during the third quarter due to Apple cutting the number of iPad 2s and MacBook Airs shipped, claims CEO Francois Prudent. The tipping point appeared when the tech giant opened its first French retail location in 2009, the lawsuit alleges.
Prudent added his chain of Apple resellers have not been able to get iPhone 4S handsets during the all-important fourth quarter. The lawsuit is just the latest as resellers bristle from Apple’s increasingly aggressive move into retailing and in pursuit of small business.
The lawsuit also claims eBizcuss spent $6.5 million to bring the stores’ point-of-sale systems up to Apple’s snuff. Additionally, Prudent claims the Cupertino, Calif. company is taking small business customers by undercutting his prices. “The proposals submitted to Apple commercial enterprises are lower than the prices at which we buy the equipment,” according to the lawsuit reported by France’s Le Figaro.
In 2009, Apple opened its first retail store in France at the Carousel del Louvre in Paris. The lawsuit charges the company then began favoring its own retail locations over those of resellers. Earlier this week, Apple’s retail operations in Italy came under fire after one government arm fined the company $1.2 million for what was described as “unfair” practices that did not fully explain product warranties.