Japan's Trade Watchdog Raids Japanese Apple Computer Unit

TOKYO: Japan's fair trade watchdog raided the Japanese subsidiary of Apple Computer Inc. Dec. 8 on suspicion of fixing prices for its popular iMac and iBook personal computers, officials and reports said. A spokeswoman for Apple Japan Inc. said the firm's office in central Tokyo was being inspected by the Fair Trade Commission (FTC), but declined to comment on the allegations. "FTC officials are still in our office, but we are still trying to find out what is exactly being inspected, and we cannot comment on any further details," the spokeswoman said. Officials at the commission declined to comment. The FTC alleges that Apple Japan told retail shops not to sell its hit computer, iMac, and its new laptop, iBook, below the manufacturer's suggested retail price, Kyodo News agency said. The iMac, with a translucent colored plastic shell, became an immediate hit when Apple put it on the market in August last year. Apple has so far sold some 2 million iMac computers worldwide, Apple Japan said. The iBook went on sale in October.

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