The French Competition Council has provisionally suspended the exclusivity agreement between Apple and France Telecom tying the iPhone to mobile operator Orange. The Council, whose decision should take effect from Thursday at the latest, called the network’s five-year exclusivity deal with Apple “clearly excessive” and said it risked “serious and immediate damage to competition on the mobile market and to consumers.” The ruling would allow customers to buy the iPhone from rival operators SFR and Bouygues Telecom in time for the holidays. France Telecom has said it intends to appeal the decision, which it says “places France in a radically different position” than Britain, Germany and Spain, where Apple has also signed exclusivity deals.
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