EC to investigate allegations of anticompetive behaviour by Apple

Mobile operators' complaints prompt inquiry into iPhone selling tactics

Mobile operators' complaints prompt inquiry into iPhone selling tactics

The European Commission has launched an inquiry into allegations that Apple attempted to leverage demand for the iPhone to gain an unfair advantage with operators.

According to a report in the Financial Times, the inquiry was prompted by complaints from some of Europe's mobile operators.

They accuse Apple of placing restrictions on deals operators can make with other smartphone makers.

The inquiry will look at those allegations, as well as question operators on Apple's policy of how marketing budgets are used and whether it forces them to buy a minimum number of iPhones.

According to the questionnaire: "The Commission has information indicating that Apple and Mobile Network Operators ("MNOs") have concluded distribution agreements which may potentially lead to the foreclosure of other smartphone manufacturers from the markets."

However, industry analysts have said the findings are unlikely to result in any action.

In order for the Commission to act upon the findings of the report, it would have to find Apple dominant in the European smartphone market.

Analysts have pointed to the recent success of devices such as the Android-powered Samsung Galaxy S range.

Samsung's success alone is likely to result in the investigation going no further, they said.