iPhone sales in India: CCI rejects abuse charges against Airtel, Vodafone, Apple
The order, issued by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) today, follows an over one-and-a-half years probe by its investigative arm into complaints that Bharti Airtel, Vodafone (formerly known as Vodafone Essar), US-based Apple Inc and its Indian subsidiary abused the dominant positions in their respective markets for smartphones and GSM cellular services.
Apple makes the popular high-end smartphone device iPhone along with other products like Mac computers and iPad tablet PCs, while Airtel and Vodafone are two major telecom service providers of the country.
The CCI probe was focussed on a particular variant of iPhone, iPhone 3G/3GS and it was alleged that Apple had entered into "some secret exclusive contracts/agreements" with Airtel and Vodafone for sale of iPhone in India, even prior to its launch.
In the complaint filed by an individual, it was alleged that Airtel and Vodafone got exclusive selling rights for undisclosed number of years as a result of their respective agreements with Apple and they had abused their dominant market positions.
The complaint further said that iPhones sold by Vodafone and Airtel were compulsorily locked so that the handset purchased from either of them would work only on their respective networks and none other.
However, CCI said in its order that it did not find Apple Inc, Apple India, Vodafone and
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