White House Vetoes Ban on Some Apple Products

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Aug. 3 2013 6:03 PM

White House Vetoes Ban on Some Apple iPad, iPhone Sales

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The iPhone 4 is one of the products that would have been affected by the ban

Photo by KIM JAE-HWAN/AFP/Getty Images

Apple received good news Saturday when U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman overturned a ban by a U.S. trade body that would have prevented the company from importing and selling some iPhone and iPad products. It was a rare move. The last time the White House vetoed a decision by the U.S. International Trade Commission was in 1987, notes the Wall Street Journal. The ITC had previously ordered the ban on several older Apple products because they infringed on Samsung patents.

In explaining the decision, Froman emphasized he wasn’t making his decision based on the merits of Samsung’s case, but rather because the patents involved widely used technology and imposing the ban would have a negative effect on consumers and the market as a whole. "This decision is based on my review of the various policy considerations ... as they relate to the effect on competitive conditions in the U.S. economy and the effect on U.S. consumers," Froman wrote in his decision.

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Although Apple’s latest products wouldn’t have been affected, older models like the iPhone 4 are popular among customers who are more price conscious, points out the Los Angeles Times. Apple praised the White House on Saturday for “standing up for innovation.”

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.

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