In their pursuit of market supremacy, companies can be tempted to engage in all sorts of dubious if not unethical or illegal behavior. In such cases, the duty to protect consumers and the free market from these types of actions falls on the different forms of competition watchdogs.
The latest situation concerns Apple and its supposed anti-competition practices in Canada. Since December 2014, the country’s Competition Bureau tried to determine whether the tech giant used various anti-competitive clauses in many of its contracts as a way to constrain third-party retailers and other companies to sell fewer devices from Apple’s competitors.
The Bureau revealed that it had the suspicion that Apple placed specific restrictions on how third-party industry members could market and sell the company’s iPhones. After an extensive investigation, which lasted slightly over two years, Apple can finally breathe easy as the Canada Competition Bureau has announced on Friday, that it has ended its probe into the matter.
The organization issued a statement revealing that they were not able to find sufficient evidence to form a case against Apple’s supposed anti-competition practices. More specifically, they could not determine that Apple contract terms lead to a significant effect on its competitors. As such, it seems that the entire situation became a case of no harm, no foul.
Although Apple has finally resolved its problems in Canada, it still has to face similar if not harsher situations in other countries like France of South Korea. Its most dire situation, which could unravel and lead to similar cases in other countries can be found in France, the country’s competition watchdog has asked the company to pay a sum of around $55.3 million after it concluded that the clauses found in contracts with carriers were illegal. The French competition regulator stated that Apple forced mobile services companies to order a minimum number of iPhone, as well as cover a portion of repair costs and pay for ads.
It’s interesting to see that Canada determined that such practices had a minimal effect on Apple’s competitors. If you into consideration the higher popularity of Android smartphones which has not decreased at all, despite Apple’s best attempts to undermine it.
Image source: Pixabay