EU mulls Apple anti-trust investigation over contracts with operators

Telcos claim that Apple's contracts are too strict

The European Commission is deciding whether to launch an anti-trust investigation into Apple's contracts with European mobile phone operators.

Concerns have been raised by a group of European telecommunications operators, but no formal investigation has been launched, Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia's team said Friday.

The unnamed companies claim that the contracts Apple sets for selling its iPhone are too strict and possibly anti-competitive, but they stopped short of making a formal complaint. However, the Commission can launch an investigation without a complainant if it believes that an infringement may have taken place.

There is no time-limit on deciding a course of action. If Apple was found to have broken E.U. competition rules, the Commission could fine the company up to 10 percent of its annual turnover.

IDC Research Director Francisco Jeronimo said that strict contracts are nothing new."Most operators in Europe have the iPhone so it would be difficult to prove anti-competitive behavior. But for operators it is much better to balance the power with other vendors because they don't want to be dependent on Apple," he said.

No one really knows what the terms of individual contracts are, he added.

Apple is the second-biggest player in Europe for smartphones, behind Samsung.

Follow Jennifer on Twitter at @BrusselsGeek or email tips and comments to jennifer_baker@idg.com.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags mobileApplelegaltelecommunicationeuropean commission

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jennifer Baker

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?