Japanese regulators are considering taking action against Apple over possible antitrust violations that may have helped it dominate the nation's smartphone sales, a move that could hit the company's margins in one of its most profitable markets.
Japan's Fair Trade Commission said that NTT Docomo, KDDI Corp and Softbank were refusing to sell older surplus iPhone models to third party retailers due to supply agreements, thereby hobbling smaller competitors. This is the latest ding against Apple in Japan.
Last week Reuters reported that Apple’s iTunes unit in Japan was ordered to pay some 12 billion yen (about $118 million) in tax by local authorities after underreporting income. The Tokyo Regional Taxation Bureau determined that the unit, which sends part of its profits earned from fees paid by Japan subscribers to another Apple unit in Ireland to pay for software licensing, hadn’t been paying a withholding tax on those earnings in Japan.