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Apple fined NT$20 million for hands-on Taiwan iPhone contract pricing
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2013-12-25 03:59 PM
Taiwan's Fair Trade Commission (FTC) issued an order imposing a fine of NT$20 million (US$0.66 million) on Apple Asia LLC, the subsidiary of Cupertino-based Apple, for violating Article 18 of the Fair Trade Act. The FTC, the central competent authority in charge of competition policy in Taiwan, also demanded immediate action to stop manipulation of the contract price for iPhone provided by Taiwan's telecommunication service providers.

In a statement issued on Wednesday morning, the FTC indicated that Apple had infringed the fair trade law by setting the minimum contract price for iPhone sales in Taiwan, which account for 1 percent of its global sales thanks to its sales by the three telecommunication giants on the island - Chunghwa Telecom, Taiwan Mobile, and FarEastone. According to the FTC, the deal between Apple and these three carriers builds up the distributorship, accordingly Apple is not entitled to the rights to determine the price of phone contracts made by the three carriers.

Taiwan's three telecommunication service providers did not respond immediately.

Chunghwa, Taiwan Mobile, and FarEastone started to sell iPhone 5S and 5C in late October and at the same time revealed 2-year service contract plans. The average price starts at NT$5,900 and NT$6,900 with a 24-month data and voice plan, which cost 20 percent to 30 percent more than its predecessor iPhone 5 a year ago.

The iPhone 5S comes in three different storage sizes — 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB, as well as in three different colors -- gold, silver, and gray; the iPhone 5C comes in two storage sizes - 16GB and 32GB – and in five different colors.

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