We learned earlier this week that Canada’s Competition Bureau was looking into allegations that contracts between Apple and wireless carriers may have included anti-competitive clauses. Jump forward a few days and new information has revealed that an investigation has in fact been underway for almost nine months. The competition watchdog now believes that these contracts have resulted in higher retail prices for both devices and cellular service in general.
According to court documents, Apple has discouraged carriers from providing incentives such as lower prices on smartphones that might compete with the iPhone. The same agreements were also used to encourage carriers to keep monthly service charges consistent across devices. In the past, carriers had paired the iPhone with specific (and often higher) service plans. That practice has since been discontinued. Apple may have also used the popularity of its iPhone to ensure that there was less competition against it by limiting the range of competing devices carriers offered.
According to an affidavit written by Vincent Millette, a bureau officer, these contractual terms may have contributed to “increase the price Canadian consumers have paid, are paying or will pay for handset devices and wireless services.”
The Competition Bureau’s investigation continues. It has asked the courts to have Apple turn over relevant documentation. In the meantime, it stresses that Apple has not been found guilty of any wrongdoing at this point in time.
Source : The Globe and Mail