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!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Appletelecommunicationeuropean commissionlegalmobile

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

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?