The European Commission has closed its antitrust investigation into Apple's iPhone policies, after the firm voluntarily relaxed its restrictions on development tools for its app store.
Apple, which has long been criticised for its perceived control-freak approach has recently changed its rules governing the development of iOS apps to "give developers more flexibility they want, while preserving the security we need".
The Commission also welcomed Apple's decision to include cross-border iPhone warranty repair services within the EU to make life easier for people who purchased their phone in an EU country other than where they live and then had an iPhone malfunction.
Commission VP in charge of competition policy, Joaquín Almunia, said: "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."
Apple's actions wrap up two preliminary probes into its business practices, which started in Spring. The Commission had started action as it was concerned the iPhone warranty limitations could amount to ‘territorial restrictions,' aimed at dissuading European consumers from buying iPhones on holiday and ‘leading to a partitioning of the market'.
It also had a problem with Apple's decision in April to restrict the terms and conditions of its licence agreement with independent developers of iPhone apps. In particular, it was concerned that the enforced use of Apple's programming tools and approved languages for writing the apps could damage third parties, ultimately shutting out competition from non-Apple devices.
In more legal action with a fruity flavour, Apple and five other techie firms have agreed to stop poaching each other's employees after a US Department of Justice (DoJ) investigation.
The terms of the legal settlement reportedly ban Apple, Adobe, Intel, Pixar, Intuit and Google from making ‘no solicitation agreements' when recruiting workers for five years.
In a statement, the DoJ said the agreements hampered competition to attract talented workers and overall "diminished competition to the detriment of affected employees who were likely deprived of competitively important information and access to better job opportunities." In short, it suggested the agreements also kept wages down.
"The proposed settlement resolves the department's antitrust concerns with regard to these no solicitation agreements," said Molly Boast, deputy assistant attorney general in the DoJ's antitrust division.