Apple’s iPhone contracts with telecoms operators are to be investigated by the European Commission (EC), to see if they have abused any competition laws to make it harder for rival smartphone manufacturers to compete.
The EC confirmed its intention to carry out the review after a nine-page consultation sent to operators came to light, as first revealed by the Financial Times.
In a statement sent to V3, the EC said: "The Commission has received information from industry players concerning Apple's distribution practices for iPhones. We are currently examining the situation. This does not prejudge the Commission's position on the issues raised."
The questionnaire seeks information on a number of topics such as the nature of the contracts in place between Apple and operators and whether technical limitations imposed by Apple on its own devices, such as 4G functionality, break antitrust laws.
Apple dismissed the issues raised: "Our contracts fully comply with local laws wherever we do business, including the EU."
The issue comes as Apple also faces pressure to end an investigation into its iBooks pricing in the US, with a judge warning the firm that it will lose the case based on evidence held by the government.
"I believe that the government will be able to show at trial direct evidence that Apple knowingly participated in and facilitated a conspiracy to raise prices of e-books, and that the circumstantial evidence in this case, including the terms of the agreements, will confirm that," US District Judge Denise Cote said on Friday, as reported by V3.
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