Elite Computers shut its doors last April, a victim, according to the company, of Appleis unfair treatment to its resellers. A lawsuit from Eliteis Thomas Armes and MacAdamis Tom Santos followed soon, with both retailers claiming that Apple was systematically and unfairly putting them out of business in order to make way for the companyis own chain of Apple Stores. The two former Mac retailers have taken their story to Bay Area airwaves, with San Franciscois Channel 7 (KGO), an ABC affiliate, giving the story several minutes of airtime.
Channel 7 noted that the lawsuit against Apple contained charges of "fraud, breach of contract, unfair competition, false advertising, and even racketeering." Shot in part in front of Appleis new San Francisco location, still under construction, the reporter pointed out that the MacAdam retail location was but a few blocks away. From the report:
Armes: "We always knew there were problems, but you know, Apple kept telling us we were the only ones."
But he wasnit. Dealers began to talk to one another and they say the problem is widespread. As Apple-owned retail outlets opened, authorized dealers in those areas reported losing their access to products.
Armes: "When you treat their stores different than our stores, thatis unfair and itis illegal."
Tom Santos, owner, MACadam: "Appleis trying to disband the dealers. They want to put the dealers out of business."
The reporter said that Apple declined to comment from the story, in keeping with the companyis normal policy concerning ongoing lawsuits.
We caught the report on local TV, but you can read the story on the KGO Web site.