Apple under investigation by Eurocrats in Brussels

Posted by Mike Magee

Investigators at the headquarters of the European Union (EU) in Brussels, Belgium, are looking into allegations that Apple’s terms and conditions to sell its iPhone in Europe breach anticompetitive rules.

French carriers and other carriers in Europe have made complaints about contracts in recent months.

But the EU has indicated at a press conference in Brussels this morning that the market for smartphones in Europe is very strong. That suggests the EU might rule the informal complaints invalid.

At the heart of the question, according to the New York Times, are suggestions that Apple’s customers have to make pledges that they will buy volumes of as yet unreleased iPhones and also insists on a level of marketing oomph to promote the devices.

The move is a further dent to Apple’s fortunes in Europe, where it lags behind Samsung.  Blackberry and Nokia aren’t doing particularly well either.

The EU is often considered to lodge complaints against giants such as Microsoft and Google in the hope of raking in cash in the shape of hefty fines.  There is a certain tendency on behalf of US giants to believe that anticompetition rules are slanted against non-European manufacturers.