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Apple Fined For Interfering With iPhone Pricing

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Credit: AP

Credit: AP


By Jenny W. Hsu

Apple Inc. AAPL -0.34% has been fined 20 million New Taiwan dollars (US$670,000) and ordered to stop interfering with mobile service providers and handset distributors’ pricing, Taiwan’s Fair Trade Commission said on Wednesday.

Apple can appeal but may face a fine up to NT$50 million if it doesn’t comply, the commission said.

It found the Cupertino-based company violated article 18 of Taiwan’s Fair Trade Act by telling Taiwan’s three main service providers how much to sell iPhones for. Apple also asked Chunghwa Telecom Co. CHT -0.74% , Far Eastone Telecommunication Co. and Taiwan Mobile Co. 3045.TW +0.10% to adjust rates.

The U.S. computer company has no right to meddle in companies’ iPhone pricing plans after selling them distribution rights, the commission said.

The three carriers can distribute or resell iPhones at their complete discretion after paying Apple for those rights, the commission added.

“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,” it said in a statement.

The ruling applies to iPhones only. There are no plans to investigate price interference with iPads, the commission’s statement said.

Apple’s representative office in Taiwan couldn’t be reached for comment.

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