People’s Party lawmaker Oh Se-jung is planning to initiate a legislative process next week in order to control Apple’s unfair business practices with appropriate regulations.
“We are trying to reflect the types of unfair business practices stipulated in the Fair Trade Act in the Mobile Device Distribution Improvement Act,” the lawmaker’s office explained on September 21, adding, “We are expecting that a bill will be proposed next week in the form of an amendment to the Mobile Device Distribution Improvement Act through discussions with interested parties and required review procedures.”
Apple released the iPhone in South Korea in 2009 first. The company has maintained lopsided relations with its business partners in the country all the way since then. For example, it has shifted iPhone advertising expenses to local mobile carriers and sold the phones at higher prices than in many other countries. More recently, it has announced the date of iPhone X release all of a sudden without any negotiation with the mobile carriers.
The Korea Fair Trade Commission initiated its investigation into such deeds one year ago but has yet to come to a conclusion. On the contrary, Taiwan imposed a fine of 20 million Taiwanese dollars on Apple in 2013 for its price control and France levied a fine of 48.5 million euros on Apple in April last year for its ad cost shifting to and forced contracts with local telecom operators.