After 13 months into a five-year exclusivity deal in France, the French competition agency has ruled the Apple and Orange (the mobile subsidiary of France Telecom) cartel illegal. Something that could have a knock-on effect throughout Europe. The agency criticized the Orange/Apple pact for having "grave and immediate" effect on the overall French mobile marketplace and thus, the French consumer, by introducing "a new flavor of rigidity in a sector that already lacks competition." The injunction, while temporary, is enough to allow other French carriers to distribute the iPhone 3G in time for the holidays. Shrug.

[Thanks, Tieum and Nick]

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Orange's iPhone exclusive ruled illegal in France