European Commission wants to know if Apple coerced mobile networks

iPhone back
The iPhone's popularity may have lent Apple an unfair advantage in negotiations

The European Commission is investigating claims that Apple used its considerable influence in the mobile world to bend network operators to its will, according to a report out today.

As reported by the Guardian, the European competition authority is sending questionnaires to mobile networks asking whether the organizations were coerced by Apple into anti-competitive behavior.

The questionnaire asks if companies were required to purchase a minimum number of iPhones, whether Apple forced them to agree to treat the handset preferentially, as well as other questions that could reveal unfair terms set by Apple.

The document also asks about any technical limitations Apple may be imposing on the iPhone on certain networks.

Apple on top or rotten?

The questionnaire is prefaced by an explanation that the Commission "is currently investigating alleged anti-competitive behavior in the EU/European economic area… relating to the distribution of Apple's smartphones ('iPhones') and the limitation or exclusion from use of technical functions on 'iPhones.'"

Regardless of how networks fill out the documents, it would be difficult to prove that Apple is in fact the dominant force in the EU, as Samsung is actually the top phone maker in Europe.

On the other hand, Apple's influence on the market is undeniable.

For its part, the iPhone maker maintains its contracts are in full accordance with local laws everywhere its phones are sold.

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Michael Rougeau

Michael Rougeau is a former freelance news writer for TechRadar. Studying at Goldsmiths, University of London, and Northeastern University, Michael has bylines at Kotaku, 1UP, G4, Complex Magazine, Digital Trends, GamesRadar, GameSpot, IFC, Animal New York, @Gamer, Inside the Magic, Comic Book Resources, Zap2It, TabTimes, GameZone, Cheat Code Central, Gameshark, Gameranx, The Industry, Debonair Mag, Kombo, and others.

Micheal also spent time as the Games Editor for, and was the managing editor at GameSpot before becoming an Animal Care Manager for Wags and Walks.