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.