EU drops Apple antitrust probe

EU drops anti-trust probe against Apple
EU drops anti-trust probe against Apple

EU antitrust regulators have dropped two investigations into Apple's iPhone, with the European Competition Commissioner welcoming Apple's changes to its policies.

EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia "welcomed" changes that Apple has made, according to a statement released Saturday by the EU.

Development restrictions relaxed

That statement notes that Apple "has relaxed restrictions on the development tools for iPhone applications (apps) and introduced cross-border iPhone warranty repair services within the EU/EEA.

"In light of these policy changes, the Commission intends to close the investigations into these matters," the EU antitrust watchdog added.

Following Apple's relaxation of its restrictions on a number of development tools for the iPhone, Adobe has now resumed development of its Flash to iPhone tool, and iPhone users have been treated to the return of a number of ringtone-generating apps and Google Voice-enabled apps.

Repairs across Europe

The EU was also initially concerned with Apple's "country of purchase rule," which meant that repair services would be made available to consumers only in the country where the iPhone was bought.

Following the investigation by the European Commission, Apple is no longer enforcing the rule, and is now set to offer the aforementioned "cross-border iPhone warranty services."

"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 Commission does have the power to fine companies up to 10 per cent of their global revenues for breaching EU antitrust rules.

Via Reuters

Adam Hartley