The European Commission is investigating whether Apple is using anti-competitive iPhone sales tactics and technical restrictions to keep other smartphone makers out of the European market.
The inquiry, which is at a preliminary stage, follows complaints by mobile phone operators.
Several mobile network operators said they had been sent a questionnaire by the Competition Commissioner asking if they were forced into accepting distribution terms that are favourable to Apple – including buying a minimum number of iPhones and giving the same if not better subsidies that they offer to other smartphone companies..
Apple reportedly responded that its contracts do comply with EU laws.
Before a formal probe could 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’s Galaxy handsets.