EU Regulators Questioning Carriers Over Apple's iPhone Contract Demands

Back in March, we reported that European Union regulators were beginning to take a look at Apple's contracts with carriers, questioning whether Apple's strict terms regarding sales commitments and other factors have amounted to anti-competitive behavior.

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Financial Times now reports that the EU is ramping up its interest in Apple's policies, sending out questionnaires to the carriers in order to gather more information about their agreements with Apple.
The nine-page questionnaire sent to telecoms groups primarily relates to sales practices, including whether Apple forces groups to buy a minimum number of iPhones, restrictions on the use of marketing budgets, and clauses that ensure Apple is always offered no worse subsidies and sales terms than other smartphone makers.

It also asks whether Apple places technical or contractual restrictions on the iPhone 5 that mean it cannot be used on high-speed 4G networks in Europe.
While regulators are clearly focused on Apple's behavior, they do acknowledge that competition in the smartphone market has increased, with Samsung rapidly gaining ground and even Nokia and BlackBerry contributing viable alternatives for customers.

The carriers have until June 17 to respond to the questionnaires, and the European Commission will use the results to help it decide whether to launch a formal probe into Apple's tactics.

Top Rated Comments

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Posted: 18 months ago
It seems not a day goes by that APPLE isn't under the microscope somewhere.
An excellent incentive to run the company squeaky-clean. What other company could stand this kind of intense scrutiny? Go :apple:
Rating: 10 Votes
Posted: 18 months ago

I'm sure some anonymous concerned party (competitor) lodged a complaint.


Oh, sure! Because Apple NEVER does anything wrong to customers or clients. Any complain must be the product of a competitor's envy,and nothing else. Always.

[/s] :rolleyes:
Rating: 9 Votes
Posted: 18 months ago
I'm sure some anonymous concerned party (competitor) lodged a complaint. If apple requires a commitment to invest in making their popular phone compatible with a certain carrier and the carrier clearly as other options, them what have they done wrong? These same companies benefit from Apple's loyal customers and marketing. Many of the phone companies don't promote the iPhone once the get going. they push any and every other phone.
Rating: 7 Votes
Posted: 18 months ago
Utter rubbish. Apple is in Europe for one thing only and that's to make $'s , therefore it has to play by EU rules. Its free to leave if it wants (but I doubt it will).

Having lived and worked in both the U.S. and EU I'll take the EU any day when it comes to looking after the consumer.


Apple should stop selling in Europe all together. Screw the EU and their ********* tactics. Then you'd see a true European revolution by the people.

Rating: 6 Votes
Posted: 18 months ago
Apple tried to take some power from telcos... and almost succeeded, unfortunately android gave that power back to those evil companies.. so for me, whatever apple does to weaken telcos, I am in.. go :apple: !
Rating: 5 Votes
Posted: 18 months ago

Apple tried to take some power from telcos... and almost succeeded, unfortunately android gave that power back to those evil companies.. so for me, whatever apple does to weaken telcos, I am in.. go :apple: !


What? Apple was the company which allowed carriers to disable hotspot, 3G facetime and large apps over 3G.

Carriers might not be able to brand iOS but Apple has certainly made concessions.
Rating: 5 Votes
Posted: 18 months ago

Apple should stop selling in Europe all together. Screw the EU and their ********* tactics. Then you'd see a true European revolution by the people.


Yea, how dare the EU investigate potentially anticompetitive tactics and look out for the consumer! /S

Apple should definitely pull out of Europe despite there being way more people there to sell to, just out of spite. You should go to business school.
Rating: 4 Votes
Posted: 18 months ago

why wouldn't apple want the iphone 5 on high speed 4g in europe?


It's an engineering tactic: make your product competitive, but leave yourself room for improvement for the next generation. It's a way of easily making repeat customers (they'll buy this year's model without feature X and next year's with feature X - even though feature X was ready in time for last year's model) and repeat (aka loyal) customers are worth a lot more than one time customers - not only will they empty their own wallet for you - they'll encourage their friends to do the same.

I'm not saying that's what Apple did here - I'm just giving it as a potential reason.
Rating: 4 Votes
Posted: 18 months ago

Apple should stop selling in Europe all together. Screw the EU and their ********* tactics. Then you'd see a true European revolution by the people.


And let's not just stop at EU while we are at it, Apple should stop selling their products outside of the US since they have been treated so unfairly in Australia, China, South Korea, Japan and so on. Yeah, screw the profits on those countries! :rolleyes:
Rating: 3 Votes
Posted: 18 months ago



I don't think there's anything wrong,you buy an unlocked phone but you know certain features are only on official carriers.


Everything IS wrong with that. If you buy an unlocked phone, you should have ALL the features that the phone provides. The end. No bull-****** excuses from Apple like "well we havent tested our phone on your network so no LTE for you". Thats the whole point of the unlocked phones.
Rating: 3 Votes

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