Apple has been fined 20 million New Taiwan dollars by the country’s Fair Trade Commission for illegally fixing iPhone prices with Japanese carriers. At only $670,000 U.S, the fine is chump change for Apple, but the allegations are serious.
According to the WSJ, it was discovered through email correspondence that Apple “violated article 18 of Taiwan’s Fair Trade Act by telling Taiwan’s three main service providers how much to sell iPhones for.” Normal practice is that a company like Apple negotiates distribution rights with carriers ahead of selling on their networks, and then the carriers have the right to sell at whatever price they want after paying Apple the agreed upon fees. That’s how you see AT&T offer a promotional discount on the 5c, for example.
Apple can appeal the Taiwanese government’s ruling, and it may face a higher fine of 50 million New Taiwan dollars ($1,700,000 U.S) if it doesn’t comply.
Source: The Wall Street Journal