Having appealed against a decision made by the French national competition authorities last December, the Court of Appeals in Paris has upheld the original verdict and ruled against Orange France having exclusivity to distribute Apple's iPhone product range. The judgement is expected to cost the mobile operator around €200 million in lost sales and airtime revenues attributable to the iconic handset.
The company that lodged the initial complaint, Bouygues Telecom, is reported to be negotiating with Apple the terms under which it will sell the iPhone, with the idea to launch the phone as soon as a deal is finalised.
The concept of exclusivity put forward by Apple originally enabled the firm to heavily influence the conditions under which the phones were sold, including the type of airtime contract sold with it. But, this aggressive approach has fallen into disfavour and Apple has changed strategy with its third wave of launches, choosing to sell the iPhone 3G through multiple operators in countries including Australia, India and Italy.
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