Last Thursday, we reported that Canada's Competition Bureau had begun investigating Apple's contracts with carriers. At the time, there weren't any concrete details about the investigation. However, a court filing has now revealed that the Competition Bureau is investigating whether Canadian customers may have paid higher prices for phones and services due to contracts between Apple and carriers.
The iPhone has given Apple extraordinary bargaining power with mobile carriers around the world, and the Canadian watchdog wants to know if it used that leverage to force domestic operators to sell rival devices at a higher price than they otherwise would have.
According to Vincent Millette, who is in charge of the Competition Bureau's investigation, the bureau is seeking to determine whether Apple's contracts:
discouraged wireless carriers from reducing the price of other handsets, or offering other enhancements
discouraged them from offering other handsets
encouraged them to maintain or boost the price of wireless services for competing handsets
dampened upstream competition between handset suppliers.