European Union ends antitrust investigations of Apple

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
The European Union has ended two antitrust investigations into Apple's iPhone policies after Apple relaxed developer restrictions and introduced cross-border warranty repair service.



According to a statement released Saturday by the EU, European Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia "welcomed" Apple's changes to its policies and intended to close the investigations.



Apple had come under criticism for its restrictions of intermediary translation or compatibility tools. After Adobe, which had developed a Flash to iPhone porting tool, lodged an official complaint, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission reportedly opened an anti-trust investigation of Apple.



Word of the European investigation of Apple's anti-flash stance came in August shortly after news of the FTC investigation broke. However, according to Friday's statement from the EU, the European Competition launched both its investigations on Apple's iPhone policies in the spring of this year.



In early September, Apple relaxed restrictions banning third-party development tools for iOS. Following the announcement, Adobe resumed development of its Flash to iPhone tool for Flash Professional. The relaxed restrictions have also allowed the return of Google Voice-enabled apps and ringtone generating apps.



The second issue of concern for the EU was Apple's "country of purchase rule," which made repair services available only in the country where the iPhone was purchased. The Commission feared this would result in "a partitioning of the market" by dissuading consumers from buying iPhones in EU countries other than their own. Apple is no longer enforcing the rule, and has appointed Authorized Service Providers to offer "cross-border iPhone warranty services" where it is unable to provide repairs itself, the EU statement said.



The European Competition Commission was pleased with the effectiveness of its investigation. "Apple's response to our preliminary investigations shows that the Commission can use the competition rules to achieve swift results on the market with clear benefits for consumers, without the need to open formal proceedings," Almunia said.



The EU's statement came the day after the Department of Justice announced a settlement ending another investigation. The settlement forbids Apple and five other companies from entering into "no solicitation agreements."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 33
    This is good news for business travellers, as well as frequent European pleasure travellers. However, this whole thing isn't a huge deal for the average European. Any product would probably be more expensive after the international tax for products shipped across borders (isn't it called a VAT of some sort?) is applied, so it makes sense to buy in your own country.



    But if you travel on business, then being able to get emergency warranty service in any EU country is a plus.
  • Reply 2 of 33
    Good thing Apple nips this antitrust investigation in the bud.

    Much better handling than Microsoft.
  • Reply 3 of 33
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mikemikeb View Post


    This is good news for business travellers, as well as frequent European pleasure travellers. However, this whole thing isn't a huge deal for the average European. Any product would probably be more expensive after the international tax for products shipped across borders (isn't it called a VAT of some sort?) is applied, so it makes sense to buy in your own country.



    But if you travel on business, then being able to get emergency warranty service in any EU country is a plus.



    You pay the tax in the country of purchase so in fact there can be some savings. There is no tax from shipping over a border if it is within the eurozone. Thats the main reason I bought my iphone 4 in the uk although I live in Germany. Well that and the fact that you can't buy it unlocked in Germany yet. It is significantly more expensive in italy for example. depends on the ?/stirling fluctuation of course. I have never had any warranty problems with apple in belgium, uk, usa and germany with devices bought elsewhere.
  • Reply 4 of 33
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    We vill end ze investigation... fuur now!!

    (but donz get zu comfortable)
  • Reply 5 of 33
    El que no llora, no mama. Adobe lloró.
  • Reply 6 of 33
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by diamondgeeza View Post


    You pay the tax in the country of purchase so in fact there can be some savings. There is no tax from shipping over a border if it is within the eurozone. Thats the main reason I bought my iphone 4 in the uk although I live in Germany. Well that and the fact that you can't buy it unlocked in Germany yet. It is significantly more expensive in italy for example. depends on the €/stirling fluctuation of course. I have never had any warranty problems with apple in belgium, uk, usa and germany with devices bought elsewhere.



    Not to mention that Apple products are released in some European countries a long time after they arrive in the UK/Germany/France.



    Just look at the iPad.
  • Reply 7 of 33
    This is going to upset a small minority of sad individuals who would love nothing more than to see Apple dragged through the courts like Microsoft were.
  • Reply 8 of 33
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,991member
    Google voice is irrelevant to the EU as Google doesn't offer it there.
  • Reply 9 of 33
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleSauce007 View Post


    Good thing Apple nips this antitrust investigation in the bud.

    Much better handling than Microsoft.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by columbus View Post


    This is going to upset a small minority of sad individuals who would love nothing more than to see Apple dragged through the courts like Microsoft were.



    See above. Insisting that you never have, never will, and never could do anything wrong, is what gets a company dragged through the courts.
  • Reply 10 of 33
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,293member
    Excellent news. As most is with Apple at the moment. To think it was such a short time ago a certain regular here (who tends to be gloomy and negative but not a troll) argued with me AAPL was five years away from topping $200.
  • Reply 11 of 33
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,293member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ascii View Post


    We vill end ze investigation... fuur now!!

    (but donz get zu comfortable)



    Ah, You vill never make it across ze border!
  • Reply 12 of 33
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,720member
    Well that's gotta suck for all the haters...
  • Reply 13 of 33
    Too bad this arrived on Saturday with little hope of being front page news in the US, thus helping propel the stock past a $300 milestone come Monday morning.
  • Reply 14 of 33
    hirohiro Posts: 2,663member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by columbus View Post


    This is going to upset a small minority of sad individuals who would love nothing more than to see Apple dragged through the courts like Microsoft were.



    At least that set here is reduced by one, at least for awhile.



    Sometimes I think issues like the cross border thing comes up because the economic rules are relatively fluid as the EU keeps adjusting to its desired end-state. And companies just press on as usual until someone tells them they need to comply with some new rule or another. Not that any of the lagging companies (which group Apple falls into this time) are forgiven for lagging, but lagging from lack of knowledge or just business inertia is hardly intentional antitrust action.



    It looks like all sides were level headed here, the EU asks a question in an appropriate forum and Apple fixes its sales policies to comply with the updated EU policies. No muss, no fuss.
  • Reply 15 of 33
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,525member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ranReloaded View Post


    El que no llora, no mama. Adobe lloró.



    Adobe mama ciertamente
  • Reply 16 of 33
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleSauce007 View Post


    Good thing Apple nips this antitrust investigation in the bud.

    Much better handling than Microsoft.







    Can't imagine a company in existence that never needs correction when it goes wrong. Glad to see the right kind of openness from Apple.
  • Reply 17 of 33
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mikemikeb View Post


    This is good news for business travellers, as well as frequent European pleasure travellers. However, this whole thing isn't a huge deal for the average European. Any product would probably be more expensive after the international tax for products shipped across borders (isn't it called a VAT of some sort?) is applied, so it makes sense to buy in your own country.



    It was never about buying. Just about service. The issue was if they had to replace your iphone they couldn't activate it to work because England is not using ATT (as an example). Plus they were also refusing to do other things like let you pay for a screen replacement which doesn't require any kind of whole unit replacement or service activation.



    I personally always thought it a tad dumb cause how hard would it be to have a master system for the geniuses that would ask the country of origin and service provider and choose the appropriate lock code etc from some master server. unless it's a problem with the sim card itself but that's a different game all together
  • Reply 18 of 33
    herbapouherbapou Posts: 2,221member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    Excellent news. As most is with Apple at the moment. To think it was such a short time ago a certain regular here (who tends to be gloomy and negative but not a troll) argued with me AAPL was five years away from topping $200.



    If the ipad keeps up with prediction AAPL should be at around $400 next year and this just to match up the new income and profit. In short, Apple had 3 majors income sources: Macs, iphone, iPods. And now the ipad.



    The rest of the income, like itune sales, softwares and accessories, is insignificant compare to the hardware.
  • Reply 19 of 33
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hill60 View Post


    Google voice is irrelevant to the EU as Google doesn't offer it there.



    Yes it does. The current free calls to telephones in North America is not offered, though (except for accounts created in North America - I've been living in Europe for 6 years, but created my account in Canada, and can now call all phones in North America for free )



    Anyways, I know lots of folks who have switched from Skype to Google Voice over here for calls between gmail users. iPhone implementation would be sweet!
  • Reply 20 of 33
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by quinney View Post


    Adobe mama ciertamente



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ranReloaded View Post


    El que no llora, no mama. Adobe lloró.





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