Apple ordered to end exclusive iPhone deal with France's Orange

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Apple must immediately cease its exclusive relationship with France Telecom's Orange and allow other local carriers to offer the iPhone to its subscribers, the French competition counsel ruled Wednesday.



On September 18th, France's third largest mobile operator Bouygues Telecom filed a complaint with the regulator, arguing the deal between Apple and its larger rival violates local freedom of competition and pricing laws.



The ruling handed down this week is reportedly a temporary and precautionary measure while the counsel continues to investigate the merits of Bouygues' claims.



In addition to being ordered to open up the iPhone to other French carriers, Apple and France Telecom are also prohibited from entering into any other exclusive agreements for future iPhone models during the precautionary period.



The French competition counsel said Apple's exclusive arrangement with Orange poses a serious and immediate threat to competition in the wireless sector and causes consumers to incur hefty and unjust fees should they attempt to switch providers. (A copy of the 48 page ruling can be seen here [PDF] in French.)



Representatives for Bouygues Telecom applauded the counsel's decision and said the carrier is looking forward to offering the iPhone to its customers in the near future.



France Telecom plans to appeal the decision.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 102
    I don't see why this is anti-competitive... other carriers have other cell phone. You don't go telling Sony they're illegally offering God of War, do you? Or Microsoft offering Halo?



    These companies should NOT be forced into allowing their hardware on other carriers anymore than gaming companies should have to offer their software for other consoles.
  • Reply 2 of 102
    I guess this and the OS X EULA lawsuits go back to the core issue of whether you are required to sell to everyone or whether you can choose who you want to sell to. Personally I think distribution rights should still hold in this case. Apple doesn't have a monopoly in the smartphone market much less the whole cellphone market so it really isn't anti-competitive. I'm pretty sure there have been other phones with exclusivity arrangements too. It's a valid marketing tactic.
  • Reply 3 of 102
    Hey France, you want some cheeze with that "whine"?!
  • Reply 4 of 102
    bloody socialists dont know the meaning of the word competition.







    All this does is hinder innovation and rule out a business model which in my opinion works better. So rather than the industry competing with similar business model to Apple, the industry cries like a little girl, and Apple are forced to use the outdated model.



    And then the whole thing stagnates, progression halted, but thats socialism for ya.
  • Reply 5 of 102
    Personally, I absolutely love it when some old-fashioned right-wing capitalist company gets blind-sided by decent modern European laws designed to give the consumers a chance for a change.



    Liberté, égalité, fraternité!
  • Reply 6 of 102
    EVERYONE! Unlocked no-contract iPhone party in France!!!



    Ebayers, start your engines.
  • Reply 7 of 102
    hokhok Posts: 10member
    Comparing a phone and a game is stupid, there are technical reasons that a game can have exclusive agreement, but there is no such thing for a phone that is based on common interfaces.



    This is pro consumer, pro competition, carrier will have to make better offer, than try to lock users with their exclusive partnership. Some people of this site are masochists.
  • Reply 8 of 102
    Agreed. Viva la competition and consumer rights!



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post


    Personally, I absolutely love it when some old-fashioned right-wing capitalist company gets blind-sided by decent modern European laws designed to give the consumers a chance for a change.



    Liberté, égalité, fraternité!



  • Reply 9 of 102
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hok View Post


    This is pro consumer, pro competition



    No, its merely disguised as "pro consumer, pro competition".



    In the long term it's bad for the consumer.
  • Reply 10 of 102
    Yeah, because limiting consumers to AT&T's network is good for consumers.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post


    No, its merely disguised as "pro consumer, pro competition".



    In the long term it's bad for the consumer.



  • Reply 11 of 102
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post


    No, its merely disguised as "pro consumer, pro competition".



    In the long term it's bad for the consumer.



    And a fine job you did explaining why that's the case. Or not.
  • Reply 12 of 102
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post


    bloody socialists dont know the meaning of the word competition.







    All this does is hinder innovation and rule out a business model which in my opinion works better. So rather than the industry competing with similar business model to Apple, the industry cries like a little girl, and Apple are forced to use the outdated model.



    And then whole thing stagnates, progression halted, but thats socialism for ya.



    Exactly and a precursory view of the US for the next 4 years.
  • Reply 13 of 102
    irnchrizirnchriz Posts: 1,581member
    The carrier exclusive deals for the iPhone are no longer essential with the iPhone 3g. It actually will work in Apples favour as they can ship to whichever network wants to deal with them. It will be up to the network to setup the visual voicemail and foot the full cost for the hardware (e.g. the TOTAL cost including the cut apple gets from the connection).
  • Reply 14 of 102
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by godrifle View Post


    Yeah, because limiting consumers to AT&T's network is good for consumers.



    Yes it is, it means apple can create a more integrated service, which to me as a consumer is 'a good thing ' and it means other companies have to pull their finger out their ass to compete.

    Tight integration ,simplified experience, greater efficiency, faster pace of innovation, these are all plus points for me!
  • Reply 15 of 102
    nceencee Posts: 836member
    It will be interesting to see if it has any kind of rippling effect?



    Skip
  • Reply 16 of 102
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    And a fine job you did explaining why that's the case. Or not.



    my RSI is exceptionally painful today, so my comments may be more brief than normal.
  • Reply 17 of 102
    Apple could just say "Screw France" and take their toys and go home. No French Apple Stores, No online presence in France, No Apple iPhones, ipods or anything else.



    Mail all the Apple customers in France a nice later blaming their government and welcome them to find a duty free shop! Blast the EU newspapers with advertisements and press releases announcing the news of the French pull out.



    If it was my business I sure as heck would consider it an option. Especially since I was already selling such huge quantities of product outside of lonely France. Apple doesn't need France. France needs Apple.



    Of course, the board of directors and the stock holders wouldn't be too happy... But I bet money someone is looking at the option and just how much business they would really lose.
  • Reply 18 of 102
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post


    Personally, I absolutely love it when some old-fashioned right-wing capitalist company gets blind-sided by decent modern European laws designed to give the consumers a chance for a change.



    Liberté, égalité, fraternité!



    Since when is capitalism a bad thing? You do realize that without capitalism you would not have a cellphone manufacturer or carrier to even worry about? Go move to a communist country and buy one of their left-wing socialist cellphones. I'm sure you'll be soo much happier.
  • Reply 19 of 102
    pmjoepmjoe Posts: 565member
    So, doesn't that just mean they'll need to offer a higher priced unlocked model, like they do in other countries with better consumer protection laws?
  • Reply 20 of 102
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by stottm View Post


    Apple could just say "Screw France" and take their toys and go home. No French Apple Stores, No online presence in France, No Apple iPhones, ipods or anything else.



    Mail all the Apple customers in France a nice later blaming their government and welcome them to find a duty free shop! Blast the EU newspapers with advertisements and press releases announcing the news of the French pull out.



    If it was my business I sure as heck would consider it an option. Especially since I was already selling such huge quantities of product outside of lonely France. Apple doesn't need France. France needs Apple.



    Of course, the board of directors and the stock holders wouldn't be too happy... But I bet money someone is looking at the option and just how much business they would really lose.



    nice anti-french rant - have you been there? \



    have you compared this to how much apple would gain by going with more than one carrier?

    no, thought not.
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