iPhone price fixing in Taiwan brings $670,000 fine for Apple

By Alexandra Burlacu | Dec 26, 2013 11:09 AM EST

Tags Apple, iPhone

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Apple meddled with iPhone pricing in Taiwan and got a fine of 20 million new Taiwanese dollars (nearly $670,000) from the country's Fair Trade Commission.

The Taiwanese Fair Trade Commission found that Apple was unlawfully influencing iPhone prices on Taiwanese carriers, reveals the Wall Street Journal.

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According to the WSJ report, interfering with iPhone carrier pricing in the country got Apple in trouble. Article 18 of Taiwan's Fair Trade Act states that it is forbidden for an enterprise to decide the prices of its products after agreeing to give them to a third party for resale purposes.

Apple violated this rule, as it reportedly asked Taiwan's three major carriers - Chunghwa Telecom, Far Eastone Telecommunication, and Taiwan Mobile - to adjust iPhone rates, the commission found.

"Through the email correspondence between Apple and these three telecom companies we discovered the companies submit their pricing plans to Apple to be approved or confirmed before the products hit the market," the WSJ cites a statement from the Taiwanese Fair Trade Commission.

Apple gets to decide at what prices it sells its products when it makes the sales itself, but once it hands them over to third party retailers it should not interfere with how those retailers, or carriers in this case, price said products.

The Cupertino company reportedly has the option to appeal the Taiwanese commission's decision. However, Apple may face a fine of up to 50 million Taiwanese dollars (nearly $1.7 million) if it fails to comply with the initial ruling.

This ruling currently applies only to iPhone pricing in the country, and the Taiwanese Fair Trade Commission reportedly has no plans to investigate whether Apple is also interfering in iPad pricing decisions in the country. If the company interfered with iPhone pricing, however, chances are that it did the same thing with its other products as well.

Apple's office in Taiwan has not issued a statement on the ruling, and the company did not say whether it plans to appeal the Taiwanese Fair Trade Commission's decision or not. We'll make sure to keep you up to date as soon as we learn more about this situation regarding iPhone pricing in Taiwan. 


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