Court Orders Apple to Release Carrier Agreements to Competition Bureau

Apple Canada was ordered to aid the Competition Bureau’s investigation by handing over documents that will be used in the iPhone probe (via Reuters).

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You may recall that earlier last week the bureau said that it would investigate whether Apple Canada used its “bargaining power that the popularity of iPhone has given it” to negotiate terms with domestic wireless carriers.

Also, it will investigate whether Apple violated competition rules by encouraging carriers to maintain or increase the prices of wireless plans for handsets sold by other vendors or by restricting carriers from reducing the prices of other companies’ handsets.

The order forces Apple to hand over the agreements it reached with carriers as well as other documents within three months.

Apple, on the other hand, may challenge the Canadian court’s right to demand documents held outside of Canada, Competition Bureau lawyer Derek Leschinsky said. There is no public indication of such a move, though Apple’s legal counsel suggested that the company could make this move, the lawyer says.

Federal Court Chief Justice Paul Crampton, however, said that there is “an increasing legal consensus” worldwide that such provisions are legitimate.