“Belgians finally get the chance to buy one of Apple Inc.’s coveted iPhones on Friday — at the highest prices in the world,” Aoife White reports for The Associated Press.
“The 8-gigabyte iPhone will retail for 525 euros ($825) — more than four times the U.S. price of $199. The 16-gigabyte version costs 615 euros ($966). The same phone would cost $299 in the U.S.,” White reports. “Belgian Enterprise Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne blamed a local law that forbids companies subsidizing one product by charging more for something else.”
MacDailyNews Note: We covered this on Tuesday in Mobistar releases iPhone 3G plans in Belgium by publishing the following line in bold type: Belgian law also bars sales at a loss.
White continues, “Van Quickenborne will try to scrap this rule in September because it stops phone operators from selling handsets inexpensively along with fixed service contracts, as is common elsewhere… Mobistar, claims it isn’t worried that high prices will deter customers. It is expecting lines at stores in Brussels when the phones go on sale Friday.”
Full article here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Simon” for the heads up.]
As we’ve written in the past (example one, example 2): “Legislation often produces unintended consequences… We usually prefer the government to be hands-off wherever possible, Laissez-faire, except in cases where the free market obviously cannot adequately self-regulate (antitrust, for just one example). Regulations are static and the marketplace is fluid, so extensive regulations can have unintended, unforeseen results down the road.”