France Launches Probe into Apple's Contracts with Phone Suppliers, Operators

By Rory Lidstone September 27, 2013

Apple’s troubles in Europe have ramped up, according to a source familiar to the matter, as French authorities are now probing the company’s contracts with mobile operators in the country. Specifically, an administrative authority under the French finance ministry is investigating the terms of contracts between major mobile phone suppliers and mobile operators regarding the sale of the iPhone.

This latest probe follows close on the heels of the release of the latest iPhone versions, the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 5c, which have been as popular in France as they have been all around the world. However, this inquiry is merely part of a larger investigation into not just Apple’s relationship with operators, but also other major handset manufacturers.

That said, it seems as though Apple is often the primary focus. For example, the European Commission began investigating iPhone sales tactics back in May over concerns Apple was using anti-competitive measures and technical restrictions to prevent its rivals from entering the market.

Then, in July, the company’s offices in France were raided by French officials in response to allegations that Apple may discriminate against independent retailers in favor of its own stores.

Throughout all of this, Apple has consistently denied any and all allegations. In response to this latest probe, Apple spokespeople have yet to comment. Unfortunately, the French finance ministry’s anti-fraud and antitrust unit has also declined to comment, so there aren’t many details as to what exactly prompted another investigation.

However, The Wall Street Journal suggests that authorities in France and other European countries are simply worried over the power that American technology companies have over the region’s economy.

Indeed, it does seem that U.S.-based tech companies are constantly under investigation by the European Commission. Both Google and Microsoft have faced numerous probes from the Commission. In fact, Google is in the middle of a long, ongoing antitrust investigation at the moment over how it allegedly favors its own services in its search results.




Edited by Stefania Viscusi

TechZone360 Contributing Writer

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

The Microsoft Surface Book is So Apple-like, it Fooled Intel

By: Rob Enderle    2/9/2016

This last week I was at the Intel Skylake for business launch in San Francisco, and I moderated a panel on security which pretty much convinced me to …

Read More

A CES Made of Glass: Corning's Impact - Problem Is Placement

By: Rob Enderle    2/8/2016

At CES last week, Corning led with a glass-forward vision that was picked up by companies like Panasonic and Samsung showcasing a number of active dis…

Read More

IBM Connect: Blending Apple, Social Media, and Watson to Obsolesce Email

By: Rob Enderle    2/5/2016

I'm at IBM Connect this week, and as with all IBM events since the IBM/Apple partnership, this is as much a showcase for IBM software as it is a showc…

Read More

What's the True Spirit of Super Bowl Sunday? Advertising

By: Kyle Piscioniere    2/5/2016

With the big game coming up on Sunday, let's not forget what the Super Bowl is really about: commercials. Sure, some brutes in jerseys are going to co…

Read More

Verizon & XO: Spectrum, 5G Cause for Rumored Deal?

By: Maurice Nagle    2/4/2016

For two firms that have had somewhat of a contentious relationship, seeing Verizon in late-stage talks to purchase XO Communications is certainly an i…

Read More