EU surveys telcos ahead of possible antitrust lawsuit against Apple

European Union competition regulators have sent out a questionnaire to European mobile phone operators ahead of a potential antitrust investigation of Apple.

According to Reuters, the questionnaire examines whether the tech giant attempted to shut out its rivals through its iPhone distribution deals with telcos.

“The Commission has information indicating that Apple and mobile network operators have concluded distribution agreements which may potentially lead to the foreclosure of other smartphone manufacturers from the market,” the questionnaire says.

The latest reports come after news first surfaced about a possible EU investigation of Apple in March, centred on mobile operators in France.

Tactics alleged to the New York Times include Apple requiring carriers wanting to sell the iPhone being forced to agree to unusually strict contracts.

Alleged anticompetitive conditions include telcos agreeing to spend the majority of their advertising budget on the device, leaving carriers with little money to market competing devices.

“We have been contacted by industry participants and we are monitoring the situation, but no antitrust case has been opened,” said Antoine Colombani, a spokesman for European Union competition commissioner Joaquín Almunia.

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