Taboada & Barros, an IT reseller based in Portugal, is now suing Apple for $40 million Euros (roughly $49 million USD) for claims of unfair trade and price fixing. Apple is already under fire in Portugal over wording of its AppleCare service plan. Taboada & Barros, which owns an Apple reseller under the name ‘Interlog’, has said that Apple’s intentional control of quantities of products given to resellers at launch caused Interlog to fail.
Sol, a popular Portugese newspaper, reported that Apple has recently renegotiated the margin resellers can take to 4 percent from a previous 12 percent per product. TechCrunch has stated that the the $40 million Euro requested is to cover lost sales and margin reduction. According to Sol, this lawsuit has been active since February 2012 but is only making a public appearance now.
As of right now, Apple does not have any official retail stores in Portugal so it relies on resellers to sell products to those who would rather not purchase online. And since there is so much demand for Apple products in Portugal (and everywhere else), resellers often cannot keep up with the demand as Apple only gives resellers a limited supply so they can keep shipment times low on purchases from the Apple Online Store.
This could get mighty messy before it gets better.