Competition Bureau closes Apple investigation after discovering no abuse of sway with carriers

White Apple iPhone 7 Plus smartphone - next could feature wireless charging

After opening an investigation into potential abuses by Apple related to its sway with Canadian carriers, the Competition Bureau has found that no such actions were initiated.

The Competition Bureau filed a motion to open the investigation into Apple’s alleged agreements with Canadian carriers in December 2014, though began seeking records from carriers in June, 2015. Any anti-competitive agreements between the two parties would constitute a breach of the Competition Act.

The investigation surrounded the claim that Apple had used its “dominance” in the market to reach agreements with Canadian carriers that limited their ability to discount the smartphones of competing manufacturers.

In March, 2015, Apple submitted 46 thousand documents to the Federal Court of Canada, which subsequently asked carriers to release their iPhone sales records.

In collecting these documents, the Bureau was searching for any contractual evidence through “anti-competitive”clauses that may have led Canadians to pay more for handsets or wireless services than would have otherwise been required.

The carriers asked for insights on the investigation include Bell Mobility (Virgin Mobile), Rogers (Fido), Telus (Koodo Mobile), MTS, Eastlink, SaskTel, Tbaytel and Videotron. 

At the time the motion was initially filed, the Competition Bureau spokesperson Gabrielle Tassé stated that there was no evidence of any wrongdoing on the part of Apple, though should any surface, the Bureau would not hesitate to act.

“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,” said Tassé in 2015. 

The Competition Bureau’s statement released today confirms the end of its investigation into the smartphone giant, having found no evidence of wrongdoing in the contracts they’d obtained from carriers.

The investigation concluded that Apple had not violated the terms and conditions of the Competition Act.

[source]Competition Bureau[/source]