European regulators are looking into Apple’s deals with European carriers over antitrust fears. The European union were supposedly contacted by several cellphone carriers that sell the iPhone after they claimed that the deals throttled competition. The complaints are believed to have come from French carriers however other countries may be involved too. The news comes for The New York Times who have been speaking with people familiar with the matter.
In a statement, the European Commission, the union’s administrative arm, which oversees antitrust enforcement in the 27-nation bloc, confirmed that it was examining Apple’s carrier deals. But it said it had not begun a formal antitrust investigation. The commission is not obligated to act until it receives a formal complaint of anticompetitive behavior. That it is already examining the contracts suggests that it is taking the carriers’ concerns seriously.
“We have been contacted by industry participants and we are monitoring the situation, but no antitrust case has been opened,” said Antoine Colombani, a spokesman for Joaquín Almunia, competition commissioner of the European Union.
Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris told The New York Times ,“Our contracts fully comply with local laws wherever we do business, including the E.U.” So it looks like Apple has nothing to worry about. There is no doubt that Apple has some strict terms when dealing with carriers and if they want to sell the iPhone they have to agree to them. This has never been an issue so far, as carriers are usually desperate to have the iPhone on their networks; as it is a hugely popular device . These antitrust complaints appear to be confined to the European Union as American carriers seem happy with their deal with Apple although it has been described as aggressive but not unreasonable.
Source: The New York Times