Taiwan's Fair Trade Commission has fined Apple Asia $666,220 for restricting the prices local telecom carriers could charge for iPhone contracts, in what they claimed was an unfair suppression of competition. According to reports by Taiwanese news agency Taipei Times, the antitrust group stated that Apple had been requiring carriers to obtain its permission before they set contract prices on iPhones - a practice which is in violation of Taiwan's free trade laws.
In a statement by Fair Trade Commission Vice Chairman Sun Lih-chyun, the organization said that Apple violated Article 18 of the Fair Trade Act, which regulates resale prices between enterprises and their retail counterparts.
“If Apple Asia hired local companies to provide services and sell iPhones, the company can set prices for them,” Sun said. “However, based on the contracts between Apple and their handset distributors, the company actually sold its iPhones to local companies, therefore local companies should have the right to set prices themselves.”
According to Sun, Apple must stop the practice immediately lest they face further fines from the government, which may total up to $1.7 million.
This news comes amidst many legal issues for Apple, including long-running litigation in the United States involving rival phone maker Samsung, in which Apple recently requested that Samsung pay their legal fees. The issues haven't seemed to slow them, however, as they reported 33.8 million iPhones sold in Q4 2013.
Source: Taipei Times | Image courtesy Apple, Inc.