Apple could Face Sanctions from Korea's Antitrust Watchdog for Dumping iPhone Ad costs on Local Telecom Operators
In late November Patently Apple posted a report titled "South Korean Authorities have Raided Apple's Offices Prior to the Launch of iPhone X in their Country." The report noted that Erik Telford, president of the Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity raised concerns stating: "South Korea's anti-trust agency has exhibited alarming behavior that threatens the viability of companies doing business in South Korea, including such major American corporations as Apple, Google, Intel, Microsoft, Oracle and Qualcomm."
Today we're learning that Apple is likely to face sanctions from the Korean antitrust watchdog over dumping its advertising and repair costs on local telecom operators.
The Fair Trade Commission's secretariat recently agreed to impose penalties on Apple Korea over the unfair practice and sent an examination report to Apple Korea to seek an explanation.
Korea's FTC will confirm whether to impose sanctions and the range within a few days after hearing from Apple Korea.
Apple Korea has faced criticism over the past few years from local mobile carriers for passing the costs for iPhone sales, including advertising costs, launch events and repair costs to them.
In November, three telecom operators -- SKT, KT and LG Uplus -- aired TV commercials promoting the designs and functions of the iPhone 8 and iPhone X as Apple requested, but at their own expense.
An executive from one of the three firms said on the condition of anonymity: "When you see iPhone's TV commercials here, everything is the same except for a telecom operator's logo at the end of the commercials. Still, telecom firms shouldn't bear all the costs standing at billions of won."
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