Europe probes Apple’s iPhone strategies, reports say

Europe probes Apple’s iPhone strategies, reports say

LONDON - Reuters
Europe probes Apple’s iPhone strategies, reports say

The European Commission is scrutinizing iPhone sales practices, according to the Financial Times. REUTERS photo

The European Commission is investigating whether Apple Inc is using anti-competitive iPhone sales tactics and technical restrictions to squeeze out rival smartphone makers from the European market, according to documents seen by the Financial Times.

According to a questionnaire sent last week to several European mobile network operators, the Commission is focusing on distribution terms that might favour Apple by ensuring no rival can secure a better sales deal, said the newspaper.

Apple said its contracts comply with EU laws, said the FT. The inquiry is the result of private complaints from mobile operators and is at a preliminary stage. Before a formal probe can be launched, the Commission would need to be confident that Apple was dominant in the EU smartphone market, which may be hard to show given the popularity of Samsung Electronic’s Galaxy handsets.

The world’s most valuable company was questioned in the U.S. Senate last week over allegations that its Irish subsidiaries help it avoid billions in taxes.

The Senate Permanent Subcommittee estimates that Apple avoided at least $3.5 billion in U.S. federal taxes in 2011 and $9 billion in 2012 by using its tax strategy and described a complex setup involving
Irish subsidiaries.