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By | Anna Leach 6th June 2012 10:46

France's biggest Apple reseller sinks: 'Tech titan crushed us'

eBizcuss goes under as staff picket fruity firm's stores

Apple's largest authorised reseller in France – eBizcuss – has gone bust, closing all its outlets and firing its staff.

The chain had 120 employees across 15 shops in France and Belgium, according to L'Express, and ran several other businesses including services businesses KA Services and ICLG, which are also closing.

Staff facing redundancy protested in boiler suits adorned with blood-red Apple logos outside Apple stores in Paris.

eBizcuss took Apple to court in January for unfair business practices, accusing it of throttling the supply of iPads and MacBooks, and giving its own stores preferential treatment for stock.

CEO Francois Prudent said at the time that his shops had been unable to get any shipments of the iPhone 4S and that Apple's unreliable supply had knocked his business's revenue down 30 per cent in the past year. He also complained about having spent $6.5m to meet Apple's strict requirements for resellers only to face a choking off of stock.

After negotiations failed, the case proceeded to court in April.

Authorised resellers in the UK complained of similar stock shortages, particularly acute at the launch of the last iPad.

The French Tribunal of Commerce opened the procedure of liquidation for eBizcuss on 31 May and appointed an administrator.

eBizcuss will continue to trade for three months, and the company will be open to takeover bids until 20 June. The assets of the business will be used to repay the company's debts.

The closure of the shops also means that in areas of France without Apple stores, Mac and iOS device owners will have no Apple support. ®

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