Jeong Jae-Chan, chairperson of South Korea’s Fair Trade Commission, has said that investigation is going on against Apple for possible anti-competition practices in the country. However, he refused to divulge more details about the matter.
“Sources said Apple Korea has pressed carriers into buying a minimum volume of promotional iPhones and sharing the burden of repair costs.”
“In April, the FTC ordered the rectification of 20 unfair provisions in contracts with its certified repair service partners. The contracts included stipulations that the repair firms could not file lawsuits against Apple Korea within a year after any dispute,” Reuters.
Apple Accused of Unfair Contracts with South Korean Carriers
iPhone sales policies could be the prime target of the latest FTC investigation. Earlier this month, it had been reported that KFTC was investigating the legality of Apple’s contract terms and conditions with mobile carriers.
Apple had been embroiled in heated patent battles against the rival Samsung in 2012 when the Cupertino-based company accused that the South Korean tech giant abused some wireless technology patents to outclass it in the smartphone market. The KFTC cleared Samsung of any wrongdoing; thereby rejecting Apple’s complaint.
Not too long ago in April in the French case, the Directorate General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (DGCCRF) asserted that ten separate clauses such as minimum purchase requirements over a three-year period, and carriers contributing to repair costs in Apple’s contracts with carriers were unjust.
Then DGCCRF had ruled that the company will have to pay €48.5M ($54M), along with the compensation to four different carriers and a fine of €8M. In yet another case in Taiwan in 2013, Apple had been fined to pay $666k for interfering with iPhone pricing.
Such cases just go on to reveal that even if you are the most valuable brand in the world, you must be prepared to face a number of legal battles around the world.