Belgian law drives price of Apple iPhone 3G near US$1,000

“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.”


  1. meh. so what. they’re charging consumers what the phone is actually worth. Other countries charge consumers less than it is worth and “make it up” with “hidden” fees.

    I prefer the open Belgian model. It more acurately reflects the true cost of an item…
    Belgian operators could always charge less for the plan… which would make up the difference.

  2. Just one of many reason WHY government should stay out of business matters at all costs. Yes, at all costs.

    Let the transaction be between the customer and company and kick out the parasitic bureaucratic middleman!

    Moreover, don’t delude yourself into thinking the gov should ‘step in’ to steer the economy. Everytime that has happened, as usual, the citizen suffers through the cost of living. Wonderful, eh?

    As Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises said, there is no ‘adequate’ middle ground between capitalism and socialism. A free market that allows any degree of socialism is asking for ruin.

  3. I wonder if they will get mad, yell, then throw eggs like the guy threw at Ballmer?? Nah! At least they get an iPhone along with the shaft…not so with Ballmer hostile takeover because he can’t innovate CEO of Micro$oft. Maybe the chicken didn’t come first.

  4. @ Andy

    It might behoove you to study a little real political science and history. The stuff you’re spouting sounds like some from the fifties, . . . except that in the fifties they remembered the origins of anti-trust legislation.
    For instance, why don’t you research why General Motors doesn’t manufacture buses.

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