Probe into Apple’s iPhone practices

Apple’s distribution practices for iPhones continue to be examined by EU competition regulators as part of a preliminary investigation, the European Commission said yesterday.

The commission “has received information from industry players concerning Apple’s distribution practices for iPhones,” Antoine Colombani, a spokesman for competition commissioner Joaquin Almunia, said in Brussels.

“We are currently examining the situation,” Mr Colombani said.

“This does not prejudge the commission’s position on the issues raised.”

Officials at the commission previously said that in March that they were looking at whether Apple’s distribution methods for iPhones and iPad tablets were anti-competitive.

Apple last year settled an EU competition probe into e-books pricing after it agreed to change agreements with four publishers.

The US company previously ended another competition court case by pledging to reduce prices for UK iTunes music downloads.

The EU closed a probe over restrictions on iPhone applications in 2010.

Alan Hely, a spokesman for Apple in London, declined to comment beyond the company’s statement from March that Apple’s contracts “fully comply with local laws wherever we do business, including in the EU.”

The Financial Times yesterday reported that the EU had sent a questionnaire to EU mobile network operators focusing on Apple’s distribution terms.

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