Canada’s Competition Bureau to Investigate Apple’s Contracts with Domestic Carriers

by Istvan Fekete on December 12, 2014

Canada’s Competition Bureau said on Thursday that it will look into Apple’s contracts with Canadian carriers and investigate whether the iPhone maker has violated antitrust laws (via Reuters).

Specifically, the bureau, which acts as the country’s antitrust watchdog, will investigate allegations that Apple Canada used anticompetitive clauses in its contracts with domestic carriers, a spokesman for the Competition Bureau, Greg Scott, said.

Scott said the bureau filed a request on Tuesday for a court order to force Apple Canada to present the necessary paperwork and company records to move the investigation forward.

“There is no conclusion of wrongdoing by Apple Canada Inc. at this time, and no application has been filed with the Competition Tribunal or any other court to seek remedies for any alleged anticompetitive conduct,” Scott said, without identifying how the contract allegations came to the bureau’s attention. “Should evidence indicate that the Competition Act has been contravened, the Commissioner will take appropriate action.”

The bureau has initiated a similar probe into the country’s top grocer, Loblaw Cos, ordering its major suppliers to present company records relating to their deal with the firm. Now, the bureau says it has no evidence that Apple broke any rules, and that it has not filed any application with the Competition Tribunal or any other court, so at the moment this sounds like a formal investigation.

It is not yet clear whether the Competition Bureau has approached Canadian wireless players about handing over company records. When contacted by Reuters, none of the three incumbents were available for comment.

This isn’t the first time Apple has been in the spotlight of antitrust agencies. Last year the European Commission sent a nine-page questionnaire to several European carriers to determine whether the iPhone maker’s distribution terms ensured that competitors couldn’t secure better sales deals.

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Written by: Istvan Fekete. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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