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French authorities investigating Apple's carrier contracts


The French finance ministry is looking into Apple's business practices in the country again, this time focusing on contracts between the company and French mobile carriers. The investigation is part of a larger probe into relationships between major handset makers and their major clients -- the operators who sell the phones.

The probe was initially reported by French news channel BFM TV, and spokesmen for Apple and the finance ministry's anti-fraud and antitrust unit made no comment.

France's antitrust watchdog group -- Autorite de la Concurrence -- is already involved in two other inquiries into Apple's business, having raided some Apple offices earlier in the summer seeking evidence of whether or not the company has engaged in unfair competition against Apple resellers. The authority is also investigating the app stores run by Google and Apple with an eye toward antitrust proceedings against a company or the entire industry.

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