Apple fined in Taiwan for fair trade violation

Apple fined in Taiwan for fair trade violation

TAIPEI - Taiwanese authorities on Wednesday slapped a fine of Tw$20 million (S$845,000) on US tech giant Apple for violating a fair trade law over local iPhone pricing.

The Fair Trade Commission said an Apple unit in charge of Taiwan sales had interfered in the pricing and mobile phone payment rates of three local telecom service providers, despite selling them the distribution rights to the phones.

It said investigations found that Chunghwa Telecom, Far Eastone Telecommunication and Taiwan Mobile had submitted their pricing plans to Apple for approval or confirmation before new models hit the market, while Apple had also asked the Taiwanese companies to change or adjust prices.

"Apple deprived the telecom operators of liberty to decide on the prices based on their own cost structures and competitive market situation, to restrict competition ... and violate the fair trade law," the commission said in a statement, urging Apple to immediately stop its illegal actions.

Apple, which can appeal the ruling, could face an additional fine of up to Tw$50 million if it fails to comply, the commission said.

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