French agency sues Apple for $55.3 million over illegal carrier contracts

French agency sues Apple for $55.3 million over illegal carrier contracts
The DGCCRF - which is France's competition, consumer, and fraud agency - has filed suit against Apple with the Commercial Court of Paris. The iPhone maker is accused of enforcing illegal contracts with France's mobile operators.

The French agency claims that Apple's contracts with the local carriers are significantly unbalanced in Apple's favour. The DGCCRF says that no less than 10 clauses found in the contracts that Apple imposes with carriers are illegal. Through these clauses, carriers are forced to purchase a minimum number of iPhones over a three-year period, pay for Apple ads, subsidize in-warranty iPhone repairs, and even allow Apple to use their patents and brand. 

If the country's commercial court rules that the DGCCRF is correct in its accusations, and Apple does indeed violate the country's commercial code, the company may be forced to pay a total of 48.5 million euros. Out of this, €14 million would go to SFR, Orange would get €11.6 million, Free Mobile would be awarded €8.2 million, and Bouygues Telecom would get €6.7 million. On top of this, Apple would also be forced to pay €8 million in fines.

While Apple could well afford to pay the 48.5 million euros that the French agency asks it to, this case could set a dangerous precedent for the iPhone maker. Carriers and fair competition agencies from around the world had already started to challenge Apple's strict contracts with local carriers, and if Apple will be found guilty in France, then the iPhone maker could be facing similar challenges in other countries as well.

This DGCCRF case comes at a time when Apple, along with other US-based tech firms, is also facing investigation for tax evasion amounting to over $8bn in Europe. We're obviously keeping a close eye on this matter and we'll get back to you as soon as more information becomes available.

source: BFM TV

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29 Comments

1. thetcmbway

Posts: 30; Member since: Mar 15, 2016

Upvote if you think Apple is the worst Company ever

2. UglyFrank

Posts: 2191; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

I wouldn't say the worst but they have some shady business practices

3. Mxyzptlk unregistered

So does Google, Samsung, LG, and many other companies. That's not even including the carriers. Shady is their middle name.

7. TerryTerius unregistered

While that is true, this isn't really about them at the moment. Their wrongdoings don't negate anything Apple has done that's duplicitous or unethical. Though I would agree with you that pretending as if Apple is uniquely terrible is unwise. It's foolish to blindly ride multibillion-dollar corporations like it's a team sport. The cheerleading habit has always bothered me. It can only lead to turning a blind eye or playing down immoral or illegal actions as if they are inconsequential. That isn't good for any of us in the long run.

8. zunaidahmed

Posts: 1182; Member since: Dec 24, 2011

most carriers actually force smartphone makers to put their logo on and in the product and also include lots bloatware stuff. Apple certainly is wrong doing but if the carriers can force the manufacturer, I don't see why it can't be the other way around.

21. RoboticEngi

Posts: 1251; Member since: Dec 03, 2014

Well in my country nothing like that happens. So I guess it is not all......

29. gadgeteer

Posts: 45; Member since: Sep 06, 2014

Arggghh, you always make sense ! Come on be a bit of a troll sometimes. Mix it up a bit

12. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

You will defend Apple to your death won't you? We are t talking about anyone her but Apple. Just like Steve Jobs, every time Apple is in trouble, you want to bring up other company's. It's Apple we are talking about. They are being sued by themselves. All corps are greedy and do shady things. None or any better or worse than Apple. Keep defending them dummy.

18. zunaidahmed

Posts: 1182; Member since: Dec 24, 2011

Don't really care if it's Apple or not, just not fond of any carrier. Yes I do like apple but it doesn't really matter

20. Unordinary unregistered

That was the s**ttiest most ass backwards post I've read today. In other terms: Your a babbling hypocrite lmao. Any time a company is mentioned by a user, you scramble to your keyboard and shout BUT APPLE BLARGBLARGBLARGBLARG. Lol I feel so sorry for you.

23. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Just like you defend Samsung to the death? You're starting to become like that diehard superfan who can't shut up and stop being a hypocrite. If other companies are shady then stop acting like Apple is the bane of existence you twit.

22. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Bringing up random brands does not help Apple case. That being said, I really admire Apple achievement. They are the only OEM brand that are able to screw the carrier over and over till they scream for mercy. Serve them right!!! They really bring this upon themselves from doing all those back room deals that they are so good at playing but only this time Apple plays it better and they end up with the shorter end of the stick. To solve this problem simply embrace transparency, release cheaper mobile plan without mobile phone so that consumer could make an inform choice of how much they want to pay for their mobile usage and how much they want to pay for their phone.

27. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

Right, I know logic isn't something iFans are used to, but please provide evidence for your claims. Apple isn't excused from this nonsense just because you have a hard on for them. The others aren't either but I'm fairly certain Apple is the worst of them.

5. bucky

Posts: 3774; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

They can certainly be shady but in this instance tits probably Apple not wanting the carrier control over their product.

16. willard12 unregistered

How does making TV commercials for Apple prevent carrier control over their product? I'm sure prevention of carrier control over the iPhone is a separate and legal clause Apple has in the contract. I just may be missing the correlation between 3 years of guaranteed sales and no carrier bloatware. Unless, by saving Apple the marketing money and giving Apple guaranteed money it will keep Apple so powerful that carriers will always have to bend to Apple's desire to control the OS.

10. VapeSir

Posts: 24; Member since: Apr 04, 2016

I up voted him. They are beyond worse. More like P0S.

13. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Hell yeah they are. $200B, and they don't even wanna pay taxes. Of course PA is defending them too. Who cares if they got th money. Most corps have th money to handle a lawsuit win or lose. Should that be th point though.

19. zunaidahmed

Posts: 1182; Member since: Dec 24, 2011

Not paying taxes is surely wrong, but I am pretty sure most 100 top companies would not wanna pay tax either. A lot of American themselves stopped paying taxes is some states (I am talking about you Michigan)

4. jellmoo

Posts: 2533; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

In a world where Comcast exists, it simply isn't possible.

14. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Apple and Comcast are both cancers of the world.

24. Mxyzptlk unregistered

You're an even bigger cancer.

11. justrt

Posts: 446; Member since: Jul 10, 2014

I hate them a lot, but I wouldn't say they are the worst. There is a lot of bad, bad corporations!

15. meanestgenius

Posts: 21485; Member since: May 28, 2014

They truly do have some effed up business practices. They make a good product, but they are truly about unfair and unbalanced competition.

30. gadgeteer

Posts: 45; Member since: Sep 06, 2014

To call them the worst ever is to be charitable to them. They are diabolical !

6. AppleVersusAndroid unregistered

How were these clauses overlooked, since they are apparently illegal? What were these carriers' legal teams doing in place of reading the contracts?

9. zunaidahmed

Posts: 1182; Member since: Dec 24, 2011

this is just bulls**t, so carriers can milk the manufacturer and the manufacturer can't milk the carriers? It isn't like if apple pleads guilty, the wireless charge will go down or anything, they will still be the same, maybe even higher, so I would actually not care, every manufacturer should force the operators into signing these contracts.

17. Derekjeter

Posts: 1455; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

Apple should just stop selling their product to anyone who cries over their conditions. There's a huge reason why I love the iPhone and it's due to Apple not letting the carriers call the shots in the phone. Look what happened to Android. The bloat ware, the branding, updates, and don't get me started with launch dates. It's simple, you don't Iike Apple ways to do business then don't buy it. All the dumb f@cks above saying Apple is shady they clearly turn a blind eye to Google, Samsung, LG, Sony, Verizon, ATT, T-Mobile, Sprint, Comcast, Timewarner, and many others. I will always support Apple even if I don't continue to buy iPhones, they will never let someone else call the shots with their product. Other OEMs should take note.

25. Mxyzptlk unregistered

+1 for the truth. Some of these clueless chumps need to read your comment.

28. gaming64

Posts: 234; Member since: Mar 22, 2016

This is something I would say 2 years ago. Saying that statement today is like revealing yourself to other peoples how Apple can shove iIgnorance up the arse.

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