European Commission Investigates Apple's iPhone Sales Tactics in the Continent
The executive body of the European Union is currently investigating whether Apple is engaging in anticompetitive practices with its iPhone sales tactics across the continent. Documents which were recently revealed by the Financial Times
show that the European Commission has begun looking into whether Apple’s agreements with carriers are illegal. The commission expressed concern that the deals could ensure Apple’s rivals cannot secure better sales agreements.
The investigation reportedly began after the commission received “private complaints from mobile operators.” As of right now, the investigation remains preliminary and no formal charges have been brought against Apple.
The whole ordeal was brought to light by questionnaires sent by the commission to mobile operators across Europe. The document reportedly inquires whether carriers are being forced to buy a minimum number of iPhones or if they are restricted on how to use their marketing budgets. It also asks whether Apple enforces any clauses on subsidies for handsets that compete with the iPhone and it quizzes operators on whether contractual restrictions prevent the iPhone 5 from accessing high-speed 4G networks in Europe. Carriers have until June 17 to reply to the questionnaire.
The last time the European Union was involved in investigations with Apple was with the company’s warranty practices and e-book deals with publishers. These inquiries haven’t led to formal antitrust lawsuits though and are being dealt with alternatively. We’ll have to wait and see if anything comes out of this new investigation.
Source: Financial Times