SEOUL, June 20 (Korea Bizwire) – The Korean Fair Trade Commission (FTC) has launched an investigation into Apple’s marketing operations in Korea, with the company suspected of imposing some of its advertising costs on local telecom companies.
According to an industry expert, Apple has been accused of forcing local carriers to cover part of the advertising costs for new iPhones. The FTC even found evidence of some mobile carriers being burdened with warranty expenses on behalf of Apple.
As part of the process, FTC conducted an investigation at Apple Korea, located in Samseong-dong, Seoul, on June 16 and 17 for violating the Fair Trade Act.
Apple Korea is facing an in-depth inquiry related to forcing telecommunications companies to order a certain quantity of products, generally, more than what they actually needed.
Last December, the FTC conducted an ex officio investigation into Apple’s unilateral cancellation of a parts order from repair companies that resulted in amending unfair trade terms and conditions on a product repair contract.
Apple’s “authoritative” business practices have become problematic in other countries as well. In April, the French FTC fined Apple nearly 48.5 million euros (64 billion won) for unfair trade agreements with telecommunications companies, according to a report from SBS.
FTC officials said they were unable to comment further on individual cases.
By Nonnie Kim (firstname.lastname@example.org)