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Taiwanese FTC hits Apple with price-fixing fine

updated 11:42 am EST, Wed December 25, 2013

Wireless carriers consulted Apple before pricing iPhones

Taiwan's Fair Trade Commission has fined Apple 20 million New Taiwan dollars (US$670,000) for interfering with mobile service provider and handset distributors' pricing. The regulatory body's decision was reported on Wednesday by The Wall Street Journal,which said that Apple could face a fine of up to $1.67 million if it does not comply with the commission's orders. At issue was Apple's interaction with Taiwan's three main wireless service providers, with the commission saying that the American iPhone maker improperly set the prices those companies should sell iPhones at after handing over distribution rights.

The three carriers, the commission said, are free to set their own prices and distribution models for Apple's bestselling phone. The commission, though, discovered email correspondence between Apple and the three firms - Chunghwa Telecom, Far Eastone Telecommunication Co., and Taiwan Mobile Co. - wherein it was revealed that the companies submit pricing plans to Apple for approval before the products hit the market.

The commission's ruling applies only to iPhones, and there are no plans to investigate price interference with iPads.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. prl99

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: 03-24-09

    There used to be fair-trade pricing but I guess that's no longer in force. Amazon threw that concept out the window by undercutting just about every book price to take over the market. When there's a dealer arrangement, like with cars, I thought the manufacturer could set a base price, usually to keep the value at a level they wanted. I doubt Audi, Mercedes, or Porsche allow their dealers to drop the price too far, which is all Apple is trying to do. WalMart, Target, and Best Buy sell iPhones at whatever price they want and I'm sure Apple has the same pricing contract with them so why would the Taiwanese contract be any different?

  1. And.reg

    Mac Elite

    Joined: 02-22-04

    Screw 'em, Apple didn't do squat.

  1. bjojade

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 06-07-07

    Apple used to have pretty strict MAP pricing. It allowed all dealers in all channels to have a chance to be competitive by offering things more than just a lower price. Customers could choose where to shop based on product selection and service quality since price was essentially taken out of the equation. With the latest lawsuits, you have seen Apple pull back from this in many places. Now, their products are used as loss leaders to get customers in the door. Good luck getting quality service when you need it. But I suppose as products get cheaper, that's the market you're dealing with.

  1. andrewbw

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 01-31-01

    "quality service" LOL you guys are a riot, as usual.

    Third party retailers should compete on price, period. Stop pretending you want Target (for example) to charge the same as the Apple Store for an iPhone because you expect to get SERVICE from a RED SHIRT. If you need service, buy it from the Apple Store and accept their inflated prices. But Apple should in no way, shape, or form be allowed to tell retailers what they should charge for their merchandise. That's why they have their own stores. They want to charge a huge markup on their products? They can do whatever they want within their own store walls, and people can choose or not choose to pay it. Period.

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