Apple Korea has been under investigation by the Korea Fair Trade Commission (“KFTC”) over allegations it abused its dominant position by forcing mobile carriers to pay for advertising and warranty repairs. Apple has agreed to fix “unfair” terms with mobile carriers as part of its proposal.
This is not the first-time apple is facing allegations for abuse of dominance and imposing unfair terms. A similar case has also been filed with the European Commission by Spotify. In March, French Antitrust Authorities found Apple guilty of anticompetition behavior and fined the company for USD 1.23 billion on
The KFTC has focused on two allegations:
- Apple’s misuse of the advertising fund collectively raised along with other mobile carriers, by releasing advertisements only for apple’s products; and
- Apple forced the mobile carriers to bear certain after-sales service center running cost.
Apple has proposed measures to address antitrust concerns and offered to provide 100 billion Korean Won (USD 84.02 million) worth of support programs for small businesses, consumers and others, the country’s competition watchdog said on Monday. Out of this 100 billion won, 40 billion won will be utilised to build a research centre to aid development of small manufacturers and 25 billion won to set up an academy to offer education to developers.
If the KFTC accepts this proposal, it could set precedent to levy penalties that help support the market and try to uplift it from potential damage caused by giants in the industry.
Reported by Tanya Garg, Senior Editor