EU drops two Apple iPhone antitrust investigations

The European Commission has dropped two antitrust investigations concerning Apple’s iPhone after the company reversed two policies that drew the regulator's scrutiny.

The Commission launched the investigations earlier this year regarding Apple’s iPhone warranty policy within the European Union and mandates over what development tools and programs could be used to develop Apple-compatible applications.

But the Commission said in a statement on Saturday that Apple will no longer enforce a “country of purchase” rule on warranty repairs. That rule had made it more difficult for iPhone purchasers to claim warranty rights outside the country where they purchased the device.

Apple has now appointed service providers to “offer cross-border iPhone warranty services in those member states where Apple does not directly take charge of repairs,” the Commission said.

The Commission was also investigating Apple’s tightening in April of the licensing arrangements for developers of iPhone applications. The company began requiring that developers use only Apple’s native programming tools and languages. The Commission said it could have “ultimately resulted in shutting out competition from devices running platforms other than Apple’s.”

Apple said earlier this month that it would remove restrictions on using other development tools.

The company’s response shows that “the Commission can use competition rules to achieve swift results on the market with clear benefits for consumers without the need to open formal proceedings,” the regulator said.

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