Apple Contracts with Canada’s Wireless Carriers May Have Raised Prices: Court Filing

Yesterday it was revealed Canada’s Competition Bureau is investigating Apple’s contracts with our wireless carriers and how they may be anti-competitive in nature.

Reuters now shares details of the court filing made this week by the Bureau’s Vincent Millette, which listed ways the Apple contracts may have decreased competition and kept prices high:

  • discouraged wireless carriers from reducing the price of other handsets, or offering other enhancements
  • discouraged them from offering other handsets
  • encouraged them to maintain or boost the price of wireless services for competing handsets
  • dampened upstream competition between handset suppliers.

“The contractual obligations (with the carriers) may therefore increase the price Canadian consumers have paid, are paying or will pay for handset devices and wireless services,”

Also, obligations from these Apple contracts may be “dampening upstream competition between suppliers of handset devices.”

Competition Bureau spokesman Greg Scott said in a email statement Apple has done nothing wrong, at this point:

“It is important to note that 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,”

Filings with the Federal Court on Tuesday seek documents from Apple dating back to July 2008, when the iPhone was first officially sold in Canada. The Bureau told Apple about it was investigating contracts with carriers back in April and some records have already been handed over. Antitrust officials met with Apple executives about a month after being notified of the investigation.

Wireless carriers have similarly submitted material in the form of 2,500 documents, based on requests from June through August. While carriers weren’t specifically named in the court filing, Canada’s ‘Big 3’ carriers have dominated iPhone sales from the get go.

 

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of iPhoneinCanada.ca. Follow me on Twitter, and @iPhoneinCanada, and on Google+.

  • Riddlemethis

    So what’s the point of this article again?

  • ????Dennis

    Canada’s completion bureau is investigating Apple because they think Apple is forcing carriers to price handsets at higher margins….

    Apple Canada says they have done no wrong…

    Stay tuned…. Batman to investigate.

  • Yep

  • erth

    i think this is a form of collusion. which, i believe, the big 3 do on a daily basis.

  • Richard Wong

    It’s also about the terms of the agreement that Apple might have made the carriers to sign to either restrict competition by other companies through higher pricing or reduced access to new iPhone models.

    It’ll be interesting to see where these documents came from, sometimes a disgruntled carrier employee of even a disgruntled apple employee.

  • clever27

    This has nothing to do with why we have horrible expensive phone/data plans. Look at the USA, the are offering 30gig family plans at the same price points that we are paying for 300mbs.

  • Chris

    How many countries does Apple sell the iPhone in? So why is our country one of the only ones to have sky high prices? For some reason, people like to blame Apple more then blame Robelus….

  • Salinger

    Our iPhone prices are not really any higher than anywhere else. This isn’t about plan pricing (which is higher than just about everywhere else).

  • sancheezy

    We also have 35 million people versus their 300+ million.