Apple might be sanctioned by the European Commission


The European Commission has started an investigation concerning an eventual infringement of free competition by Apple within the European market. In particular, they are investigating the agreements between Apple and telecommunication operators for the distribution of iPhone products.

This enquiry respond to the complaints presented by mobile operators before the European Commission warning on the Apple practices concerning benefits and commercialization of Apple smartphones and tablets by the end of 2012. This resulted in a reduction of devices’ costs for consumers buying Apple products. In return, users should sign a contract for wireless connection service for two years with a specific mobile operator. 

As a consequence, a survey was conducted to determine whether an official anti-trust investigation by the European Commission should begin. By means of this survey the Commission obtained information indicating that Apple had concluded distribution agreements with mobile operators which could eventually knock out the market other smartphone manufacturers. This fact involved, in the eyes of the European Commission, an infringement of the anti-trust rules of the EU.   

The European Commission has focused its investigation in two fundamental aspects: on the one hand, in the terms of the distribution of Apple products, and on the other hand, on the possible abusive sale tactics for such products and technical restrictions to outperform competitors in the European market.

Until now, Apple has declared that it has not infringed the anti-trust European Law. While this is true, in previous occasions the European Commission condemned other companies, as Microsoft and Google, due to infringement of the EU legislation on competition.

Written by Antonio Torres

Image: Matthieu Riegler under creative commnos license (CC BY 3.0)

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