It seems like Apple needs to tread carefully in South Korea, as the country’s government announced it would investigate “some matters” relating to the Cupertino company, reports Reuters.
Unfortunately, the investigation seems to be shrouded in mystery. When asked what those matters were by a South Korean lawmaker during a parliamentary hearing, Fair Trade Commission chairman Jeong Jae-chan did not divulge details. However, rumors suggest that South Korea is not happy with Apple’s contracts with the country’s mobile carriers and the way the company operates its business.
According to the rumors, Apple’s Korean arm forced carriers to buy a minimum number of promotional iPhones. Furthermore, it is alleged that Apple required South Korean carriers to share some of the financial cost of repairs. Finally, the contracts South Korean carriers signed with Apple allegedly included a stipulation that they could not file lawsuits against the Cupertino company within the first year after any dispute arises.
Alas, this is not the first time Apple has been accused of abusing its market power in the phone space. Back in June 2015, Taiwan’s Fair Trade Commission fined Apple just short of $650,000 over iPhone pricing contracts the company set up with the island nation’s mobile carriers. According to the government agency, Apple forced carriers to adhere to its contract pricing and price differences between different iPhone models. Apple’s actions were a violation of the law, which states that Taiwanese carriers are the ones who dictate pricing, not the company that makes the phone.
More recently, the French government believed Apple included 10 separate provisions in its contracts with carriers that created an unfair advantage for the company. As such, the French government sued Apple for $55 million in April, with the majority of the money intended to go to the four carriers listed in the lawsuit.
Digital Trends reached out to Apple for comment on the matter and will update accordingly.