The distribution of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) for its iPad and iPhone devices will be monitored by antitrust regulators from the European Union and will implement necessary actions if they observe that the technology giant’s practices harm consumers, according to report from Bloomberg.
In a daily briefing, Antoine Colombani, spokesperson of the European Commission Competition division said that regulators had been informed regarding the issues related to the possible anti-competitive practices of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s in distributing its mobile devices, but no formal complaints had been filed against the tech giant.
“The Commission has been made aware of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) distribution practices for iPhone and iPad. There have been no formal complaints though. Generally, we are actively monitoring developments in this market. We will of course intervene if there are indications of anticompetitive behaviour to the detriment of consumers,” said Colombani.
According to people with knowledge about the issue, some companies shared their problems regarding Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s distribution method, particularly the terms of their commercial contract with the iPhone and iPad maker. The source who requested to remain anonymous because of the sensitivity of the issue said, “Apple insists on a certain level of subsidies and marketing for the iPhone,” which accounts 50 percent of the revenue.
Natalie Kerris, spokesperson for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) emphasized that the company is in full compliance with regulations. “Our contracts fully comply with local laws wherever we do business, including the EU,” she said.
Three years ago, Apple’s iPhone business practice also became a target of investigation by EU antitrust regulators, which prompted the company to allow cross-border repair services and ease restrictions on Apple applications. The EU dropped its probe against the company.
Last week, the federal judge presiding in the antitrust lawsuit filed by the United States against Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) ordered its CEO Tim Cook to testify in court in connection with the allegation that the company fixed the pricing in the e-book market. The Department of Justice (DOJ) accused Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) of conspiring with publishers to increase the prices of e-books. The publishers already settled the lawsuit with DOJ. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is the only remaining defendant in the case.