The head of Apple Japan, under investigation by Japan's Fair Trade Commission, has denied that his company tried to fix the price at which retailers sell the iMac and iBook computers, according to a local media report.

In an interview with the Nihon Keizai Shimbun, published in its Tuesday morning edition, Eiko Harada said: "Nobody controlled the prices."

He told the newspaper that the uniformity at which the machines are priced between different shops indicates the small profit margins at which the retailers operate, leaving no room for discounting. Retailers make no more than a few per cent on each machine, he said in the interview.

Just under two weeks ago, Japan's Fair Trade Commission raided Apple Japan offices as part of an investigation into whether the company tried to force retailers to sell the popular iMac and iBook machines at the company's recommended price and no lower.

At the time, the company said it considers its business practices to be "both within the law and exemplary”.