Apple acts to fend off EU investigations

The European Union has called a halt to two investigations into Apple's anti-competitive behaviour, after the firm introduced changes to its iPhone app development policies and introduced a cross-border warranty repair service within the EU.

In a statement, European Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said he welcomed Apple's policy changes which enabled the Commission to close the investigations.

"Apple's response to our preliminary investigations shows that the Commission can use the competition rules to achieve swift results on the market with clear benefits for consumers, without the need to open formal proceedings," Almunia stated.

The Commission launched two parallel preliminary investigations into Apple's iPhone business practices in the spring.

Commissioners said they were particularly concerned that Apple's repairs service was only available in the country where the iPhone was bought, which which they said they feared could lead to a partitioning of the supposedly-free internal European market.

But they also thought Apple's decision of April 2010 to restrict App development for the platform to the use of Apple's native programming tools and approved languages. The Commission was concerned this "could have ultimately resulted in shutting out competition from devices running platforms other than Apple's."

Apple moved to relax restrictions banning third-party development tools for iOS earlier this month.