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Parisian court upholds ban on iPhone exclusivity

updated 11:15 am EST, Wed February 4, 2009

Fra. iPhone kept unlocked

The sudden lifting of iPhone exclusivity in France will remain in effect, a ruling from the Paris Court of Appeals has declared. In December, the country's national competition council ordered Apple and official carrier Orange to temporarily permit other companies to sell the device, pending deeper investigation into complaints from Bouygues Telecom. Apple and Orange subsequently filed an appeal, but this was denied by a Parisian judge in a 19-page Wednesday ruling.

France maintains strict pro-competition laws, which in the case of cellphones forbid tying a device to a single carrier. Apple and Orange have attempted to work around this obstacle by offering an unlocked device, but at a higher cost, and still only through the pair's own outlets. Bouygues has demanded the right to sell the phone, noting that the iPhone is subject to unfair channel limitations.

Bouygues has praised the ruling, and announced that it is already in negotiations with Apple to decide iPhone sales terms. The device will in fact be launched for Bouygues subscribers as soon as a deal is completed, the company claims. An online retailer, FNAC, began selling unlocked phones only a week after the December decision.

by MacNN Staff



  1. rytc

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Another victory

    for freedom of choice.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Are the laws strong enough to keep Apple from trying to force double the rates over Orange, to keep their partner with the better terms/plans?

  1. Feathers

    Joined: Dec 1969


    speaking of choice...

    ...I notice that MacNN has changed the way it's RSS feeds link to the actual articles (through Pheedo)! It is now impossible to click to full articles if you have Safari Adblock enabled. This change has only occurred within the last few days so it is interesting that MacNN should report on issues of choice whilst simultaneously removing the similar "choice" to NOT be inundated with adverts on their own sites.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: speaking of choice

    Maybe the problem is more with Safari Adblock blocking the links rather than MacNN. Did you check out what the links are hooked to?

  1. JEB

    Joined: Dec 1969



    More free iPhone news buzz plus demand via other carriers = good for Apple sales

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Double standards...

    SFR (another carrier in France) is keeping particularly quiet about this as they have exactly the same thing on Blackberry Storm which only they are allowed to sell. Seems that there is no problem if you have exclusivity on an unpopular device, just a popular one.
    Ah the French.... such a wonderful nation....

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