Apple hit with $647,000 fine in Taiwan for forcing carriers to accept its iPhone prices

iphone emergency call
guteksk7/Shutterstock
Apple landed itself in hot water in Taiwan, as the company lost a court battle with the island’s Fair Trade Commission. Taiwan slapped Apple with a $647,124 fine over iPhone pricing contracts, reports Reuters.

The court battle originally began in December 2013, when the Taiwan FTC first levied the fine against the Silicon Valley company over concerns regarding its iPhone pricing and carriers. More specifically, the agency believes Apple broke the law by forcing Taiwanese carriers to adhere to Apple-imposed contract pricing for the iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, and iPhone 5S. In addition, Apple also determined subsidies, as well as the price differences between different iPhone models.

“Apple limited telecoms from setting contract price for its 4, 4S, 5, and 5S models, which is against the law,” said commission spokesperson Chiu Yung-ho.

Even though it’s normal for Apple to force U.S. carriers to get its approval for the prices at which carriers sell iPhones, the problem here is that Taiwanese carriers get to dictate pricing, since they own the smartphones they sell to their subscribers. As such, the Taiwan FTC had enough cause to pursue a case against Apple.

“When the phone is transferred to a third-party telecom, the vendor loses its right to set prices,” said Yung-ho.

Interestingly, Apple didn’t set the pricing for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in the country, since those iPhones launched after the Taiwanese FTC investigation began. Regardless, Apple can appeal the decision. If the company fails to win the appeal, however, then the $647,000 fine is final, and Apple will be forced to pay.

In hindsight, the fine itself is unlikely to affect Apple in any significant way. However, the case could set a precedent for regions with similar laws. It remains to be seen whether other countries will follow in Taiwan’s footsteps and take away Apple’s ability to dictate iPhone pricing.

Computing

15-inch MacBook Pro gets more powerful with new AMD Vega GPUs

Confirming Apple's quiet October announcement, new configurations for the top-range 15-inch Apple MacBook laptop are now available, coming complete with AMD Pro Vega 16 or Pro Vega 20 graphics cards on board.
Mobile

How does fast charging work? Here’s every single standard compared

Modern smartphones can charge in mere minutes instead of hours. How does fast charging work? Here's a guide to the most popular standards, including Qualcomm Quick Charge, Apple fast charging, OnePlus Dash Charge, and more.
Deals

The best Apple Watch deals for November 2018

The Apple Watch has surged to prominence in recent years. If you're in the market for an iOS wearable, we've sniffed out the best Apple Watch deals available right now for all three models of this great smartwatch.
Mobile

Best iPhone 7 Plus screen protectors to shield your big, beautiful display

Cracked screens are expensive to replace. Fortunately for you, we've rounded up what's available in terms of protection for Apple's large iPhone 7 Plus. Here are the best screen protectors you can buy.
Deals

The best Target Black Friday deals for 2018

The mega-retailer opens its doors to the most competitive shoppers at 6 p.m. on Thursday, November 22, and signs indicate that the retailer means business this year. We've sifted through all of the deals, from consumer electronics to small…
Mobile

How to find a lost phone, whether it's Android, iPhone, or any other kind

Need to know how to find a lost phone? We have a simple guide right here that will help you to locate your lost or stolen phone using both native and third-party apps and services, whether it’s a smartphone or an older model.
Social Media

Time alerts put the brakes on Facebook consumption, are rolling out now

Just how much time do you spend scrolling through the Facebook feed? Facebook will now tell you. The new features also include daily alerts that tell users when they've spent too much time on the social network.
Deals

Cyber Monday 2018: When it takes place and where to find the best deals

Cyber Monday is still a ways off, but it's never too early to start planning ahead. With so many different deals to choose from during one of the biggest shopping holidays of the year, going in with a little know-how makes all the…
Computing

The Best Black Friday Deals from Best Buy in 2018

We've been hard at work assembling all the best Black Friday deals Best Buy offers in 2018 and putting them in one place to save you time and money this holiday season. From laptops to TVs, game consoles to smart speakers and much more…
Deals

The best Walmart Black Friday deals in 2018

Walmart has historically been the undisputed king of Black Friday deals. The mega-store is known for offering deals on products in almost every category, from smart TVs to children’s toys. We're combing through every deal as it is…
Cars

Here’s how Uber plans to improve its service for riders in wheelchairs

Uber is working to improve its service for disabled riders. Its latest initiative sees it teaming up with a specialist transportation firm to provide more wheelchair-accessible vehicles with wait times of less than 15 minutes.
Mobile

Google Play Store offers big movie and game discounts for Thanksgiving

With the holiday season upon us, Google has unleashed a torrent of tempting deals in the Play Store. You can snag top games for up to 80 percent off, rent any movie for just 99 cents, and get discounts on books and apps.
Mobile

The best OnePlus 6T screen protectors to keep your display in one piece

The OnePlus 6T is perhaps the best way to get a flagship experience without the huge hit to your wallet. But you'll still want to protect it. Here are the best OnePlus 6T screen protectors to keep it in one piece.
Deals

Black Friday 2018: The best deals so far

Black Friday 2018 is the biggest shopping holiday of the year, and some of the best deals have already arrived. We've scoured the web to find discounts from Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, Target, and more. Don't miss out.