back to article Brussels 'mulling probe' into brutal Apple negotiations with networks

The EU is examining Apple's deals with network operators, to ensure it's playing fair - but hasn't yet opened an official investigation. Citing the ubiquitous "people familiar with the matter" the New York Times tells us that various mobile network operators have been sharing their Apple contracts with the commission after the …


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  1. LarsG

    Witch Hunt

    Nothing more to say.

    1. Rampant Spaniel


      I guess all the Bananas are finally conforming to the regulations governing their shape and a millstone round Europes neck had to find something else to do to keep relevant. Speaking of which, when was the last European election and how much did the mobile telcos invest / bribe / donate to campaign funds?

      1. jonathanb Silver badge

        Re: @LarsG

        The last election was 2009, and campaign contributions were approximately zero, or at any rate around the same as for a parish council election, and a bit more than for a police commissioner election.

        1. Rampant Spaniel

          Re: @LarsG

          Spending for the 3 main parties was circa 5million. Not huge but not pocket change. Where did that come from (is the tooth fairy with the Brussels route that generous? :-))? Thats also just for the 3 main parties in the UK alone.

          1. jonathanb Silver badge

            Re: @LarsG

            My point is that compared to UK general elections, there is very little campaigning for Euro elections.

            1. Rampant Spaniel

              Re: @LarsG

              True, but the GE else acts as a proxy as most folks will vote for the same party for their mep as their mp.

              The point I was basically making was that companies lobby, they do so because it works. They also don't make donations because they like the colour ribbon a party has. They expect their monies worth, I don't think I'm being too cynical with that :-) You only have to look at the USDA and how it is loaded with ex execs from large food processing companies and then look at the decisions they make like huge subsidies for corn farmers, flavoured milk in schools, pizza sauce as a veg etc. Companies make campaign donations and somehow, completely randomly their ex execs are appointed and decisions are made that favour those companies products. I am aware I am venturing close to tinfoil hat territory, but not that close :-)

  2. Richard Jones 1

    If Only They Made usable Telephones For a Sensible Price

    Since the touch rubbish came along requiring two handed fumbling usability went out of the window.

    I do not want to have to handle the damned thing just to make or receive calls. Why does that silly mob insist that people should stare at the silly thing, it is not as though it is worth looking at with its copy of a 1870s school slate form factor.

    1. The lone lurker

      Re: If Only They Made usable Telephones For a Sensible Price

      No-one makes you buy an iPhone or any other phone with 'touch rubbish'. Nokia for example makes a complete range of phones that still follow the older form factor. Try this:

      Or, if that is still not to your liking then Doro make phones with even smaller screens with huge buttons for those who just cannot stand to look at their phone. With one of these you stand a good chance of hitting the right button even with your eyes closed.

      I realise now, after re-reading your comment, that I may well have been trolled softly but I'll let it stand in case you really are this much of a Luddite!

      1. Richard Jones 1

        Re: If Only They Made usable Telephones For a Sensible Price

        For a variety of reasons I need one touch one hand dialling, pre touch phones give me that, touch phones simply do not support that capability.

        My 7 or 8 year old phone can stay under my coat untouched, a push on the bluetooth headset, speak the name and make the contact.

        I was given a touch phone as a supposed upgrade. It is sat on my desk unloved, unused, unusable. Sadly I found it too slow, too awkward and frankly hard work.

        OK it was not a £500 item but I do not need £450 of the 'features' of a pocket computer.

        Question, why do useful features have to be jettisoned? Speaker dependant calling is great, actually essential for me but apparently no longer available. Why do I get sold touch screen Facebum junk like 'apps' but loose necessary functionality.

        So no ludite and no troll either I'm now back on a functional Nokia 6230i with a replacement £2.50 with genuine regrets about the lack of usability of featureless phones and yes the service provider confirmed they have nothing usable, (actually they had few if any clues about what their 'mobiles' do, apart from NOT what I need).

        1. a_been

          Re: If Only They Made usable Telephones For a Sensible Price

          You are a whinning troll though, you dont want to use an iPhone ans so don't use onw but still feel the need to whine.

          1. Daniel B.

            It's not just the iBone

            *All* manufacturers have gone to the touch-only madness. Even Blackberry went out and put out the Z10; the Q10 was probably baked up when their market analysts told them "dude, your CURRENT BB users hate touchy stuff and want a keyboard!". Most of the current-gen smartphones (or those with worthy specs) are the keyboard-less junkers...

        2. envmod

          Re: If Only They Made usable Telephones For a Sensible Price


    2. Rampant Spaniel

      Re: If Only They Made usable Telephones For a Sensible Price

      erm there are still plenty of 'candy bar' style phones out there and for bugger all money. A trip to a supermarket can get you a no frills phone for 10-15 quid. If you go on ebay you might even find one with a b&w screen and a retractable aerial.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: If Only They Made usable Telephones For a Sensible Price

      People wanted the mobile web to be usable. It simply was diabolical on handsets until the iPhone arrived.

  3. Rampant Spaniel

    Ohhhh nooeeesss! Apple have a monopoly on their own products! As much as I dislike a lot of how Apple operates, playing hardball with network ops over their own products is not illegal. If they demanded they drop another phone maker then thats dodgy but saying if you want to sell my product you have to buy x amount, advertise it and sell it at X pricepoint then wheres the foul? The network can say no and carry on selling android, windows, rim phones made by a raft of other companies.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      A monopoly on their own products... LOL!

  4. Fazal Majid

    Typical cellco scum

    The great thing about Apple is that they don't cave to carriers' demands to put crapware all over the phone, unlike Google's supine attitude (even though there are bad signs like allowing AT&T to misrepresent HSDPA as "4G" and allowing the carrier to restrict FaceTime over the wireless connection).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Typical cellco scum

      "The great thing about Apple is" NOTHING!

      Their believers are brainwashed monkeys.

      "(even though there are bad signs like allowing AT&T to misrepresent HSDPA as "4G""

      You have no idea what you are talking about, go and do your research first.

      Maybe you won't look so foolish (even though you own an iJoke).

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If the networks don't like it, they can sell a copy...

    Title pretty much says it all. No-one forces the networks to offer the iPhone. Pretty much anything Apple launch Samsung will copy fairly quickly. Maybe not the same quality of build as Apple but many won't care....

    1. Rampant Spaniel

      Re: If the networks don't like it, they can sell a copy...

      true, it's just not the same if it isn't made in a proper old fashioned sweat shop by underage indentured labor is it :) To be fair Samsung probably did copy that part as well, but Apple is just so big there aren't any kids left to put together the s4. At least that explains why samsung have to use a bigger screen, less fiddly for the adults to put together.

      Sorry it is Friday and you did start it ;)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: If the networks don't like it, they can sell a copy...

      "Pretty much anything Apple launch Samsung will copy fairly quickly. Maybe not the same quality of build as Apple but many won't care...."

      The same old shite day in and day out!

      If you really believe this crap your more stupid than you are FUGLY.

  6. Oninoshiko


    I think I'm mostly on the record as lothing APPL's business practices, use of frivolous patents, industrial design sense, user interface design, and poor implementation of a half assed microkernel.

    That said, I cannot fault APPL for using it's monopoly on iOS to get favorable terms. iOS devices are not a market in-and-of themselves, the are merely a segment of the smartphone market, so I have trouble considering them to have a monopoly position to improperly exploit.

  7. DougS Silver badge

    You know the carriers are unpopular when

    Even those people on the Reg who are normally against Apple in every way grudgingly take their side when it comes to a disagreement involving the even-more-hated-than-Apple wireless carriers.

    1. Rampant Spaniel

      Re: You know the carriers are unpopular when

      I agree, pretty much the only two less popular things would be carriers and that fetid pile of dog winnets in Brussels. We have tried the Europe thing and it doesn't work. The Germans outworked and out smarted the rest of them and they now own Europe (again). There is yet another layer of useless, expensive, corrupt twatdom that we really cannot afford. Can't we just call it quits, let Germany have mainland Europe since it effectively owns it now anyway and drown the feckless twats in Brussels, saving a fortune and allowing the local sheep to rest peacefully.

  8. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

    The biggest revolution of the iPhone was..

    .. getting the carriers to part with a slice of their revenue and hand it to Apple. When I heard that Apple was actually managing that I bowed deeply, because nobody, and I mean NOBODY had ever managed that before in the history of carriers. I used to work in that industry and that was a real, genuinely jaw dropping achievement.

    That's changing key business fundamentals ("we pay, you bleed") right there. Heck, I suspect they actually had to keep some consulting in to adjust their systems to pay out as that function cannot have been planned in in their original billing and accounting systems.

    Hats off to whoever managed to negotiate that.

  9. Brian Morrison
    Thumb Down

    What would be a big improvement... if the network didn't have to jump through hoops to get the phone set up for their own requirements.

    If you have an iPhone 4 or later on giffgaff then you don't get voicemail or APN set to the correct settings or WiFI hotspot at all. All because Apple won't sign the .ipcc file because giffgaff don't sell phones and so can't meet Apple's conditions for getting that file provided.

    Frankly, it stinks!

  10. g e


    I don't believe for a minute that an ithing is such a profitable item over say a One or an S3 or whatever that a network operator is willing to go through that pain just to be able to offer it. The things don't even behave in a proper manner when they're connected to the network, either, which is extra hassle.

    Perhaps if they just grew a collective spine at some Xmas do and told apple to fuck off they might find Cupertino a little more humble, presumably they're not obliged to sell the things if they don't want to and don't like the attached terms?

    If it really hurts that much then give that pain to your competition with a smile and sell something else.

  11. Mahou Saru

    Good foor the consumer??

    If a third party (aka Apple) strangles the networks possible revenue streams, personally I think the choice of letting the shareholders suffer the loss, or passing it onto the consumer, they would choose the later....

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