eBizcuss, a large Apple reseller in France, is suing Cupertino for favouring its own retail stores rather than the retail chain.
CEO François Prudent said that Apple has delivered a big “go forth and multiply” to its loyal resellers instead of shipments of the iPad 2 and Macbook Airs.
According LeFigaro, Prudent said that he saw a 30 percent decline in the third quarter of 2011 due to reduced shipments of iPad 2 and MacBook Air units.
His company could not get its paws on the iPhone 4S during the fourth quarter, either.
According to the lawsuit, Apple started starving resellers in November 2009 when Apple opened its first retail store in France at the Carousel del Louvre in Paris.
If that was not bad enough, Apple demands its resellers jump through lots of hoops before it will allow them to sell its kit.
Prudent said that he had to spend $6.5 million to meet Apple’s strict requirements for resellers, only to never receive the promised gear. This included revamping eBizcuss’s point-of-sale system.
Once the Apple shop opened, Apple started hitting up eBizcuss’ business customers and offered them that undercut his operation.
For some reason, Prudent made a point of saying that he was an Apple fanboy and had been a company supporter since 1977. Given what Apple is doing to his business we would put him down as one of the more public cases of Stockholm syndrome since Patty Hearst was kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army in 1974
But the case is highlighting the plight of many of Apple’s resellers since Cupertino started spreading its own stores. It seems that Apple is seeing them in the same way that Steve Jobs did cloned computers. Once it has opened its own stores resellers are actually competition.
AppleInsider pointed out that there have been a number of resellers who have gone to the wall because Apple treated them badly.
Apple reseller MACadam went out of business in 2005 moaning about “bad behaviour” from Apple. In 2008, a reseller in Glasgow, Scotland closed its doors after being unable to compete with the Apple store.
The resellers have been getting increasingly litigious too. In 2003, three resellers, including MACadam, filed lawsuits against Apple alleging breach of contract and fraud. In 2005, several resellers banded together to file a class-action lawsuit against Apple, alleging the company had engaged in acts of unfair and unlawful business practices, breach of contract, and misappropriation of trade secrets.
Arrogantly treating people like scum works really well on the French – just ask Louis XVI.