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South Korean antitrust regulator commences investigation into Apple
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Jun 28, 2016, 07:57 AM
 
Apple is under investigation by a regulator in South Korea, over "some matters" relating to agreements and deals the iPhone producer has in the country. Advised earlier today in a parliamentary hearing, South Korea's Fair Trade Commission Chairman Jeong Jae-chan confirmed there is a probe underway relating to Apple, but the anti-competition regulatory head did not disclose any details about what specifically it is examining.

While the reason behind the investigation is unknown, Reuters notes some domestic reports suggested the Commission was looking into the contracts Apple has with local carriers. Given these reports, it is probable that this is a similar situation to one in France, where a consumer protection regulator investigated Apple's contracts with ten regional carriers.

In April, the DGCCRF filed a suit against Apple seeking €48.5 million ($53.8 million) over "significantly unbalanced" contract terms that were in Apple's favor. These agreements allegedly restricted carriers and imposed demands, all so that they could sell the iPhone to their subscribers. Demands highlighted in the lawsuit include Apple mandating minimum purchase orders, mandatory payments towards Apple-run advertising, restrictions on carriers creating new payment plans or promotions with Apple's approval, and the ability for Apple to terminate the agreement at any time, with no warning and for any reason.
     
Inkling
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Jun 28, 2016, 09:17 AM
 
If the terms Apple is alleged to imposed in France prove true in France, Korea, and almost certainly elsewhere, I can only hope Apple pays and pays big. Limits on "creating new payment plans or promotions" is one reason why the cellular market is such a mess. There is too little real competition. Of course, what we need aren't penalities on the company as a whole, which is likely to result in higher consumer prices, but a fine levied against the Apple executives responsible. Punish the guilty not the public.
Author of Untangling Tolkien and Chesterton on War and Peace
     
   
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