KPN challenges Belgian iPhone exclusivity deal

The Dutch telco KPN has stated that the deal agreed between Belgium's Mobistar and Apple for exclusive distribution of the iPhone is illegal. In an effort to overcome this situation, KPN has said that it would start to sell iPhones in Belgium via its Base subsidiary using product sourced in Holland.

KPN claims that the exclusivity contracts that Apple signed with a number of European operators are unlawful and contrary to common European laws. It maintains that, with European trade borders no longer in operation, it can sell iPhones into other European countries using the iPhone contract it has with Apple in Holland.

Vodafone was the first European operator in 2007 to challenge Apple's iPhone exclusivity deal with T-Mobile in Germany, which triggered similar legal conflicts in France and the UK.

KPN's ambitions to gain iPhone subscribers in Belgium follows comments from the country's Minister for Economy and Administrative Simplification, Vincent Van Quickenborne, that the country had a problem with very low mobile Internet penetration. "The retail market in Belgium is not working properly, and I think that mobile internet will completely change the market," he said.

The country is also expected sell a fourth 3G licence this year at the same time that it auctions LTE spectrum.

For more:
- see this Apple Insider article
- see this Reuters article

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