EU eyes Apple iPhone probe

European Union (EU) Commissioner Neelie Kroes is reportedly preparing to investigate the lack of interoperability between various smartphone platforms.

“We need to make sure that significant market players cannot just choose to deny interoperability with their product. This is particularly important in cases where standards don’t exist,” Kroes explained in a statement quoted by ReThink Wireless.

“This is not just about Microsoft or any big company like Apple, IBM or Intel. The main challenge is that consumers need choice when it comes to software or hardware products.”

According to Caroline Gabriel of ReThink, Kroes’s comments were made “against the background” of a controversial initiative known as the Digital Agenda –  which actively seeks to “redefine” the EU’s already stringent antitrust guidelines.

“When considering abuse of a market position, the Agenda wants to change the standard from ‘dominant’ to ‘significant’ place in a sector,” wrote Gabriel.

“[And], under the [new] rules, Apple could face investigation into its barring of third party development suites, such as Adobe Flash, an issue already reportedly being examined by the US Fair Trade Commission.”