France set for Apple competition suit – report - Mobile World Live

France set for Apple competition suit – report

06 APR 2016

France’s competition watchdog is reportedly taking action against Apple, claiming that operators in the country are owed compensation for overly restrictive contract clauses.

According to a 9to5Mac report, which cites French sources, the Directorate General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control is claiming almost €50 million, having asserted that the iPhone maker’s contracts provide it with too much power over operators.

Factors at issue include minimum order requirements; advertising stipulations; tariff guidance and allocation of repair costs. And it was also noted that the contract is fairly one-sided.

The fine would be split between SFR (€14 million), Orange (€11.6 million), Bouygues (€6.7 million) and Free (€8.2 million), with an additional €8 million fine.

While the numbers involved are small beer for the companies involved, it is nonetheless significant that a major country is talking action against Apple. Indeed, it is also likely to impact the way the company does business in France in the future, although at this point the iPhone line is well established enough that there is unlikely to be much in the way of change.

But it may prompt other regulators to take a look, which at the least is a headache.


Steve Costello

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