The Japan Fair Trade Commission has launched a probe to determine whether Apple Inc. violated anti-monopoly rules by forcing local companies to provide technology and intellectual property free of charge, The Mainichi reported.
During business talks with about 10 Japanese electronic and optical parts manufacturers, Apple demanded for contracts to have a clause that allowed the iPhone maker to use technologies and knowledge from the local companies for free, sources reportedly alleged. At least one Japanese company said that Apple threatened to discontinue doing business if the local company refused the U.S. company's requests on the terms of the contract.
Another local company accused Apple of bringing down the prices of parts it bought by disclosing Japanese companies' technologies and trade secrets to rivals. A public relations official at Apple Japan told The Mainichi that it is "impossible for the headquarters to sign unfair contracts from the standpoint of compliance with legislation."
The Japanese regulator uncovered these allegations against Apple following a survey in autumn 2018 and interviews with Japanese businesses about their dealings with other companies.