Apple will probably face sanctions from the Fair Trade Commission (FTC), Korean’s antitrust watchdog over dumping its advertising and repair costs to local telecom operators, reports the Korean Herald, quoting unnamed industry sources.
The FTC’s secretariat recently agreed to impose penalties on Apple Korea over the unfair practice and sent an examination report to Apple Korea to seek an explanation, the article adds. The FTC will confirm whether to impose sanctions and the range within a few days after hearing from Apple Korea.
Apple Korea has been criticized by local mobile carriers for passing the costs for smartphone sales — including advertising costs, launch events and repair costs — to them. The price of the iPhone X has also faced criticism among local consumers. The price of the 65GB and 256GB models are around $187 more expensive than in the U.S. and Japan.
Domestic media reports have reported that the FTC was reviewing details of the U.S. firm's contracts with South Korean mobile telecoms carriers. The commission is South Korea's regulatory authority for economic competition. It was established in 1981 within the Economic Planning Board.