Competition Bureau seeking iPhone sales records from Canadian carriers

Last December, the Canadian Competition Bureau filed a motion in a Federal Court arguing that Apple’s agreements with Canadian carriers for the sales of the iPhone may have led to higher prices for both phones and wireless service.

The Federal Court of Canada ordered Apple to relinquish documents to the Bureau that indicated it used its dominance within the market to promote the sale of iPhones, and also set up agreements with Canadian carriers that limited discounts of smartphones from competing manufacturers.

Apple submitted 46,000 records in March, but the Bureau reportedly believed that the evidence was insufficient, and is now “requesting a more comprehensive data set.” According to the Financial Post, the Competition Bureau isn’t satisfied with Apple’s documents and has asked carriers to submit their iPhone sales records.

The Bureau is looking for insights in to the possibility of any anti-competitive clauses that may have “increase[d] the price Canadians have paid, are paying or will pay for handset devices and/or other wireless services.” These obligations “may have or may likely have the effect of lessening or preventing competition substantially in a market,” say the court filings.

Competition Bureau spokesperson Gabrielle Tassé stated, “There is no conclusion of wrongdoing by Apple Canada Inc. at this time, and no application has been filed with the Competition Tribunal or any other court to seek remedies for any alleged anti-competitive conduct. Should evidence indicate that the Competition Act has been contravened, the Commission will not hesitate to take appropriate action.”

The carriers and sub-brands that the Competition Bureau is seeking insights from are Bell Mobility (Virgin Mobile), Rogers (Fido), Telus (Koodo Mobile), MTS, Eastlink, SaskTel, Tbaytel, and Videotron. All the carriers have 75 days to respond to the request and must provide records dating back to January 1st, 2008.