I asked the Fair Trade Commission about Apple's narrowing down deep shops of "iPad" to a large extent

Sankei Shimbun reported today that the handling shops are being narrowed down considerably for Apple tablet "iPad" to be released on May 28th.

Even at Yamada Denki, a major consumer electronics retailer, it is said that about 10% of directly managed stores and even SoftBank Mobile, which exclusively sells 3G models, can handle only 16 stores, but the harsh narrowing down is done , I asked the Fair Trade Commission what kind of opinion it is on the telephone.

Also,"Authorized Japan Apple Reseller Agreement" that Apple can not sell Apple products except for retail stores that Apple has contracted with the companyWe also asked about the fact that we did not handle our products with Internet mail order of major electronics mass merchants.

Details are as below.
"Apple iPad" narrow down the dealers Apple and also "confidential" in "powerful" (1/2 page) - Sankei Biz (Sankei Biz)

According to the Sankei Shimbun news report, it seems that Apple has narrowed down considerably the handling stores of iPad. Yamada Denki, the largest consumer electronics retailer, can only sell it at 57 stores, which accounts for 10% of the directly managed 580 stores, and even at Edion, the second largest in the industry, only 10 of the 418 directly operated stores will be handled.

In addition, SOFTBANK MOBILE, which exclusively sells the 3G model, has only been handled at 16 directly operated stores, and the condition that it can not sell at about 2,500 SoftBank shops nationwide continues.

"Maintaining brand image" is mentioned as the maximum objective that Apple has done for such refinement, and Apple introduced the evaluation system of stores of mass merchandisers, it is said that they are selecting stores that handle their products In addition to that, industry officials have speculated that it has been decided that discounts will damage the brand image, even for cases that prohibit the supply of Apple products to mail-order sites.

The contents and their answers that I contacted the transaction planning section of the Fair Trade Commission by phone on this matter are as follows.

Is there no problem in narrowing down sales stores in the first place?

Fair Trade Commission Transaction Planning Division:
There is no problem in itself.

Is there any problem with setting restrictions at retail stores such as "Can be handled at a real store, but should not be sold online?"

Fair Trade Commission Transaction Planning Division:
It does not mean that it itself will be a problem immediately. It is free to whom the maker deals with, and what route the product is sold. It is acceptable for reasonable reasons to decide the method of sales as a sales policy to maintain product safety, product brand image, quality.

What do you think about creating a state where price competition between stores does not occur by narrowing down sales stores?

Fair Trade Commission Transaction Planning Division:
If restrictions on the handling of prices and competitive products are given to retailers by using restrictions on sales methods,Maintain resale priceYaTransaction with restraint conditionI think that it can be a problem in such a form. However, because it shows how Apple is narrowing down its dealerships and what kind of effect it produces, you can see whether it is a violation of the antitrust law, so whether it is a problem at this time or not It can not be decided immediately.

In other words, if there is a reasonable reason, refining sales outlets on the iPad or restricting selling on the Internet itself is not a problem, but if you use restrictions, such as to bind the selling price of the product, It seems that there is a possibility of violating antitrust law ... ....

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in Coverage,   Mobile,   Hardware, Posted by darkhorse_log