Apple Inc.’s Canadian unit is being investigated by Canada’s Competition Bureau, according to a Reuters article in the Globe and Mail. The Competition Bureau apparently had received allegations that the company was using anti-competitive contracts with the country’s wireless carriers, though so far it has stressed that no wrongdoing has yet been determined.
This comes in the wake of news that Paul Shim Devine, a former supply manager for the company, has been sentenced to a year in prison for leaking sensitive information about upcoming Apple products to potential components suppliers in Asia. The lightness of his sentence relative to the potential maximum of 20 years in prison may be an indication that he’s cooperating with authorities to expose further wrongdoing connected to the company. It’s therefore possible that his information is what led to Canada’s Competition Bureau investigation, though at this point there is no solid evidence one way or another.
Apple’s industrial relationships have been fraught at times. Earlier this year the company abruptly dropped its sapphire glass supplier, GT Advanced Technologies, in favour of another supplier that apparently could better provide the type of glass needed for its new mobile devices, whose technological sophistication is indicated by their embedded fingerprint scanners. On the other hand, the company has proven adept at negotiating partnerships with rivals and government bodies alike, as we have seen in its operations in China in recent weeks; so it would be somewhat surprising to learn of wrongdoing on this scale in Canada.