The New York City Metropolitan Transportation Authority gave Apple an unfair edge last year as Apple “ruthlessly bid for its prime retail perch overlooking Grand Central Terminal,” according to “The New York Post.”

An audit by New York Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says the MTA allowed Apple last May “to set a daunting hurdle for rival bidders to clear in a tight, 30-day window — namely, that they be willing to front $5 million in cash,” the article adds. DiNapoli’s report notes that Apple had been in private talks with the MTA for more than two years leading up to the bidding process.

In July 2011 Apple inked a 10-year deal with the New York Metro Transit Authority to open a retail store in Grand Central Terminal. The 23,000-square-foot store will take up Grand Central’s north and northeast balconies, displacing Charlie Palmer’s Metrazur restaurant, according to MTA documents.

Apple will initially pay rent of $800,000 a year, nearly half a million more than Metrazur paid; after 10 years, the rent will balloon to more than $1 million annually, says the “Post.” The company will also pay to refurbish the space. The MTA is estimating that the deal will bring it a minimum of US$5 million in profits.

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