Taiwan FTC Fines Apple for Influencing Local Telecoms’ iPhone Pricing

Apple is in hot water over its anti-competitive practices, not only in Canada, but also in Taiwan. The main difference between the two cases is that Apple’s anti-competitive practices have been proven in Taiwan, so the world’s most valuable tech company will be fined T$20 million (USD $624,000) the Taiwan court ruled, reports Reuters. However, Apple can still appeal.


While the fine is small, what matters this time is that Apple has been found guilty of such practices, which could affect its reputation. This comes at a time when Apple is the market leader in the country, with a 32% share of the market.

So what happened exactly? Fair Trade Commission (FTC) spokesman Chiu Yung-hi explains to Reuters:

“Apple limited telecoms from setting contract prices for its 4, 4S, 5 and 5S models, which is against the law”, he said. Since the telecoms own the rights to the phones they sell, they can set any price they want, according to the Commission.

Under Taiwanese law, when a vendor transfers the handset to a third party (aka telecom company), it loses the right to influence or set prices.

After looking into the matter, investigators found that beyond influencing the iPhone’s retail price, Apple also “insisted upon approving the telecoms’ iPhone subsidies, price differentials between old and new phone models, and advertising content.”

Apple still has the right to appeal, so the case is far from closed. Meanwhile, the investigation against Apple Canada is progressing, as the Competition Bureau has asked the incumbents and five other regional carriers to share additional documents that reveal Apple’s business practices.

Now the question: Is it possible for Apple to use similar anti-competitive practices in Canada, since, as the aforementioned case reveals, its business practices involve such moves in Taiwan?