What you need to know

  • Apple is facing an investigation by Japan's Fair Trade Commission.
  • It is looking into whether Apple abused its power with suppliers.
  • Some of the allegations throwns at Apple include preventing suppliers from selling parts to competitors and threateting them to sever the business relationship entirely.

Apple is facing an investigation by Japan's Fair Trade Commission in regards to its relationship with suppliers, according to a Mainichi newspaper (via Reuters). The FTC is looking into whether Apple has used its position to abuse its power violating antimonopoly rules.

According to the report, Apple has signed contracts with suppliers that force them to "provide free technology and know-how to its affiliates for parts manufacturing."

Additionally, Apple has pressured suppliers to lower prices of their components, prevented them from selling parts to competitors and forced the suppliers to take on unforeseen costs of these moves. Per the report, a company accused Apple of "infringement of intellectual property rights" and demanded a revised contract, which resulted in Apple threatening to sever the business relationship entirely.

Neither the FTC nor Apple had comment on the story.

The is yet the latest anti-competitive investigation Apple is facing. Its newly formed relationship with Amazon, App Store behavior highlighting its own apps and other incidents have also been called into question by the U.S. government.