European Commission wants to know if Apple coerced mobile networks
31st May 2013 | 20:58
Did Apple wield an iPhone-shaped club?
The European Commission is investigating claims that Apple used its considerable influence in the mobile world to bend network operators to its will, according to a report out today.
As reported by the Guardian, the European competition authority is sending questionnaires to mobile networks asking whether the organizations were coerced by Apple into anti-competitive behavior.
The questionnaire asks if companies were required to purchase a minimum number of iPhones, whether Apple forced them to agree to treat the handset preferentially, as well as other questions that could reveal unfair terms set by Apple.
The document also asks about any technical limitations Apple may be imposing on the iPhone on certain networks.
Apple on top or rotten?
The questionnaire is prefaced by an explanation that the Commission "is currently investigating alleged anti-competitive behavior in the EU/European economic area… relating to the distribution of Apple's smartphones ('iPhones') and the limitation or exclusion from use of technical functions on 'iPhones.'"
Regardless of how networks fill out the documents, it would be difficult to prove that Apple is in fact the dominant force in the EU, as Samsung is actually the top phone maker in Europe.
On the other hand, Apple's influence on the market is undeniable.
For its part, the iPhone maker maintains its contracts are in full accordance with local laws everywhere its phones are sold.