The French government's competition watchdog told Apple that it must allow other carriers besides Orange to offer the iPhone. Orange is a subsidiary of France Telecom.
In September, Orange competitor Bouygues Telecom SA filed a complaint with the Competition Council about the exclusivity agreement. While a decision hasn't been reached on the merit of Bouygues' argument, today's order was a "protective measure" as the Council continues its investigation, likely to take a year or more.
Both SFR (the second-largest carrier in France) and Bouygues Telecom (the third largest) hope to begin selling the handsets soon.
In a statement, the Competition Council said that the Apple-Orange agreement posed a "serious and immediate threat" to competition among carriers, and higher costs for customers.
France Telecom plans to appeal the decision.
- Key specs
- Reviews • 39
- Type Smartphone
- Operating system iOS (8)
- Screen size 4.7 inches
- Internal memory 16 GB
- Camera 8 megapixels
- Dimensions 5.44 x 2.64 x 0.27 in
- Weight 4.55 oz
- Released 2014-09-19