Skip to main content

EU regulators reportedly probing Apple's iPhone sales tactics

Antitrust regulators send questionnaire to wireless carriers to determine whether Apple is using anticompetitive sales tactics to squeeze out rival handset makers.


The European Commission is reportedly investigating whether Apple is using anticompetitive sales tactics to muscle out rival handset makers.
While no formal investigation has been announced, European regulators sent a nine-page questionnaire to several European wireless carriers last week to determine whether Apple's distribution terms ensure that competitors can't secure better sales deals, according to documents obtained by the Financial Times. The interest was reportedly spurred by wireless carriers' private complaints that Apple's agreements squelched competition.
The questionnaire focuses on whether Apple's terms mandate a minimum iPhone purchases and whether technical restrictions prevent the iPhone 5 from being used on high-speed 4G networks in Europe, according to the newspaper.
"The Commission has information indicating that Apple and Mobile Network Operators ("MNOs") have concluded distribution agreements which may potentially lead to the foreclosure of other smartphone manufacturers from the markets," the questionnaire states.
"There are also indications that certain technical functions are disabled on certain Apple products in certain countries in the EU/EEA. If the existence of such behaviour were to be confirmed, it might constitute an infringement of [antitrust law]," it says.
The European Commission previously confirmed that it was examining the deals but cautioned that it has not begun an official antitrust investigation.
People with knowledge of Apple's contracts with the carriers say the terms they must accept are unusually strict, especially for smaller carriers, making it difficult for other handset makers to compete. Apple typically sets quotas for how many iPhones its carriers must sell over a certain period.
CNET has contacted Apple for comment and will update this report when we learn more.
Carriers reportedly have until June 17 to respond to the questionnaire.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Best tech gifts under $100 for Dad

Roku's speedy streamer is the best box yetThe good:The Roku 3's excellent new interface and faster processor makes it feel quicker and more responsive than any other streaming box. More than 750 channels are supported, including Netflix, Amazon Instant, HBO Go, Hulu Plus, Pandora, MLB.TV, Amazon Cloud Player, and Vudu. It also has cross-platform search that scours several major TV and movie services to find content. And Roku's nifty new remote has a built-in headphone jack that lets you listen without disturbing others. The bad:There's still no official YouTube channel. Some services have an outdated interface on Roku compared to other streamers. The Apple TV still works better within the Apple ecosystem. And the Roku 3 isn't a great option if you're mostly looking to stream your personal digital media collection. The bottom line:The Roku 3 is the best streaming-video box yet, with tons of content sources, lightning-fast performance, and an innovative remote wit…

'Star Trek II' producer talks Ceti Eel, J.J. Abrams, and more (Q&A)

Robert Sallin, producer of "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan," shares his experience working on the film, looks at the future of "Trek," and dishes on whether that was Ricardo Montalban's real chest.

The release of "Star Trek Into Darkness" has not only spurred interest in the "Trek" world in general, but especially in its film daddy, the original Khan-as-villain movie "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan." While the new film takes quite a few detours, it is full of homages to the earlier work. Let's look back to 1982. "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" had been released in 1979 and faced a poor critical reception. Paramount, the film's studio, was gun-shy after the movie nearly doubled its original budget, ending up with a $46 million price tag. Nonetheless, plans for a second movie plodded along. It's 30, 40 years later and we have new audiences. You can't keep dwelling on the old guys and the old things. It has…

Put Feedbin in your Mac's menu bar with FeedbinNotifier

Unless you've been living in a cave with no access to the Internet, you likely know Google Reader is now dead. If this comes as a surprise to you, you still have time to export your Reader data through Google's Takeout service. Be sure to do this before July 15th, when Google will remove Reader from its Takeout offerings.
One of the many Google Reader replacement services that has popped up since Google announced Reader's execution date is Feedbin.
Feedbin is a subscription service, costing $3 a month or $30 a year, with an API for developers to integrate into apps, and a functional Web site to browse through your newsfeed.
Currently Reeder (free) for iPhone has Feedbin support, with plans to add it to the iPad and Mac version in a future update. Press for Android ($2.99) also has Feedbin support. You can see a full list of apps with Feedbin support at Feedbin.me.
As Feedbin and its competitors try to gain traction with new Reader refugees, the app selection might not appeal t…