Orange and Apple told to end exclusive agreement in France

Orange iPhone France

Apple must end its exclusive agreement with Orange and allow other mobile providers to sell the iPhone in France according to a decision handed down today by France’s Competition Council. This temporary injunction was announced as part of an ongoing investigation into a complaint filed by Orange rival, Bouygues Telecom SA. In the complaint, Bouygues Telecom claims Apple’s exclusive deal with Orange is a serious threat to competition amongst mobile operators and is costly to consumers who are forced to switch providers in order to purchase an iPhone. The Competition Council, in its initial ruling agrees in part with Bouygues complaint, and states that the exclusive agreement between Orange and Apple “by nature introduces a new factor of rigidity in a sector that already lacks competition”. This temporary injunction will remain in effect until a final decision is made by the Competition Council. As expected, Bouygues Telecom is pleased with decision and is looking forward to selling the iPhone in the near future while representatives at Orange have not been available for comment.

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