Taiwan’s Fair Trade Commission fines Apple $700k over iPhone pricing

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The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple has been fined 20 million New Taiwan dollars, or roughly $670,000 USD, by Taiwan’s Fair Trade Commission for interfering with mobile service providers and handset distributors’ pricing.

The Commission found Apple guilty of violating article 18 of the country’s Fair Trade Act after discovering emails from the Cupertino company to Taiwan’s three main service providers, telling them how much their iPhones should sell for…

Here’s the Journal’s Jenny W. Hsu with more:

The U.S. computer company has no right to meddle in companies’ iPhone pricing plans after selling them distribution rights, the commission said. The three carriers can distribute or resell iPhones at their complete discretion after paying Apple for those rights, the commission added.

“Through the email correspondence between Apple and these three telecom companies we discovered the companies submit their pricing plans to Apple to be approved or confirmed before the products hit the market,” it said in a statement.”

Apple can of course appeal here, but it could face a fine up to NT$50 million (or $1.7 million USD) if it doesn’t comply. Perhaps the only good news is that the ruling only applies to iPhones—there are currently no plans to investigate iPad pricing.