Korea FTC Allows Apple to Draw Up Measures to Correct Anti-Competitive Practices
South Korea's antitrust regulator has decided to allow Apple to map out a set of measure to address its anti-competitive business practices in the country, reports the Korea Herald.
The Fair Trade Commission investigated Apple Korea for requiring SK Telecom, KT Corp, and LG Uplus Corp to pay the cost of television advertisements and warranty service for its iPhones.
The investigation found that Apple holds a clear advantage over local mobile carriers and that handing over the cost of advertisements was another means of squeezing the profits of the carriers, according to the report.
The law requires that Apple comes up with a correction scheme necessary to restore competition practices or to improve business practices. The commission said it will review detailed corrective measures crafted by Apple Korea and decide whether to approve them.
Apple Korea welcomed the commission's decision and issued the following statement.
"We don't believe we have done anything wrong but are happy to put this process behind us so we can focus on doing even more for our customers and communities," Apple Korea said in a statement.
Apple has faced criticism over its business practices in the country before. In April, the FTC ordered the company to change unfair provisions in its contracts with certified repair service partners which stipulated that the firms could not file lawsuits against Apple within a year after any dispute.
The repair service partners were seen to have little choice but to agree with the terms, due to the market power of Apple's iPhones. Apple complied with the FTC order and changed the contracts.
In 2015, the FTC also ordered Apple to allow customers refunds for repair services.