The revolutionary Apple Inc. iPhone has become entangled in antitrust problems on both sides of the Atlantic over allegations that the company improperly tied its sought-after multimedia phone to specific telephone service providers.

The early legal skirmishing has antitrust lawyers watching. At issue is the practice of “product tying,” which means that a consumer must buy a less desirable product to get the desired one. The practice is considered a serious antitrust problem in the European Union, though it is less of a concern to the U.S. Department of Justice’s antitrust division.

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