A somewhat bizarre story covered by a number of Apple-focused sites tells of a recent government raid of Apple’s headquarters in France.
The raid was reportedly brought on by a French company called eBizcuss, which went to the French authorities to complain that Apple (whose products eBizcuss sells exclusively) was holding back stock for its own stores rather than sharing new products with distributors. eBizcuss filed a complaint, and that led to the investigation.
Those slimy, evil Apple scumbags. They held back stock… for their own stores. Despicable.
I’m far from a fan of anti-competitive, underhanded business practices. I agree there needs to be structures in place to protect the little guy. But what possible reason would Apple have for putting their own distributors out of business?
Just plain nastiness? If they had the stock and held it back — with no hope of selling it — then that’d be what we call in the trade “shooting themselves in the foot”. Of course if they held it back in expectation of selling it themselves that’s different. That would be what we’d call “just good business sense”. It’s patently obvious that if a product is being sold they’d rather it was in their own store — they make more money that way.
Distributors can’t complain if the competitor that’s putting them out of business is the one that makes the very same products they sell. There’s some very simple math involved that means that you’re always going to make less on a sale than they are.
If you can’t make money selling Apple hardware, here’s a bright idea: sell something else.
Published on July 1st, 2013