You've got to love the French competition regulator for ruining Apple's plans for world domination through exclusive deals for the iPhone... it's ruled that such a plan will pose a "serious and immediate threat" to competition.

Orange has the rights to the iPhone in France on a similar deal to that currently found in the UK with O2, but following a complaint from rival network operator Bouyges Telecom SA the deal was overturned by the competition commission.

Complaint

The complaint was filed in September this year, following Orange's successful sale of the Apple iPhone and iPhone 3G, and Orange has said it is prepared to appeal the decision as it would place it at a severe disadvantage to competitors in the likes of the US, Germany and the UK.

However, Bouyges Telecom SA has said it hopes to begin selling the iPhone shortly following the decision, and has welcomed the chance to compete with other networks supplying Apple's successful handset.

It's unlikely that similar action will be brought in the UK, as O2 has sold the iPhone unopposed for over a year and other networks have a number of handsets tied exclusively to their brand, such as Vodafone's deal for the BlackBerry Storm.