According to a new report from the Wall Street Journal (via Forbes) the Taiwan‘s Fair Trade Commission has fined Apple 20 million Taiwan dollars (US$670,000) and ordered to stop interfering with mobile service providers and handset distributors’ pricing. The Commission found that the Cupertino-based company violated article 18 of Taiwan’s Fair Trade Act in Taiwan. Apple has the right to appeal the decision.
According to the report:
Apple Inc. has been fined 20 million New Taiwan dollars (US$670,000) and ordered to stop interfering with mobile service providers and handset distributors’ pricing, Taiwan’s Fair Trade Commission said on Wednesday.
Apple can appeal but may face a fine up to NT$50 million if it doesn’t comply, the commission said.
It found the Cupertino-based company violated article 18 of Taiwan’s Fair Trade Act by telling Taiwan’s three main service providers how much to sell iPhones for. Apple also asked Chunghwa Telecom, Far Eastone Telecommunication Co. and Taiwan Mobile Co. to adjust rates.
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.
This seems a bit ridiculous to me. Apple clearly see themselves as a luxury brand targeting a specific group of people in society. Allowing mobile carriers to cut prices on the iPhones and introduce deals such as – buy one get one free deal, will damage the company’s brand.