Apple pledges $84M to fund programs in bid to end South Korea antitrust investigation

Posted:
in General Discussion
Apple has proposed paying out 100 billion won ($84 million) to fund support programs to assist consumers and small businesses, in a bid to settle an antitrust investigation by South Korean regulators.




The Korea Fair Trade Commission allowed Apple to offer a proposal for measures to help ensure it complied with local anti-competitive laws. On Monday, Apple's South Korean business put forward a package of measures it hoped would appease the regulator.

Of the 100 billion won, 40 billion will be used to construct a center to support research and development activities for small manufacturers in the country, reports Reuters. Approximately 25 billion won is set aside to create an "academy" to educate the country's developers, and another 25 billion won will be used to offer consumer discounts on warranty repair costs, as well as other benefits.

The proposals are part of efforts by Apple to close out an investigation by the Korea Fair Trade Commission into claims Apple forced local telecoms providers to pay the costs of warranty services and television advertising. The investigation ran from 2016 and included raids on local offices, with a regulatory hearing in January 2019 indicating the regulators believed Apple was taking advantage of carriers via its advertising activities.

The Commission advised in July 2019 it was suspending the investigation while it was considering a consent decree proposal, one where Apple would perform a series of remedial actions to redress the accusations.

If the consent decree and the finance package is accepted by the regulator, the investigation will be closed without offering a final determination of whether or not Apple actually broke competition law.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    anti-competitive? have they met Samsung? apple maps (and google maps) in Korea are just not good--why? because of fair and competitive (ha) laws aimed to help naver and daum/kakoa. no Apple Pay? I am sure it is just because it is not up to snuff here where only Korean companies are smart enough they can do it (though I believe there is one Chinese company).
    Beats
  • Reply 2 of 16
    “We’re open to bribes to drop investigations into your potentially illegal activity. What have you got to offer?”
    muthuk_vanalingamPascalxx
  • Reply 3 of 16
    revenant said:
    anti-competitive? have they met Samsung? apple maps (and google maps) in Korea are just not good--why? because of fair and competitive (ha) laws aimed to help naver and daum/kakoa. no Apple Pay? I am sure it is just because it is not up to snuff here where only Korean companies are smart enough they can do it (though I believe there is one Chinese company).
    For the sake of conversation let's say you're right.  How would that mitigate the accusations against Apple?  Apple's sales partners were accusing them of anti-competitive behavior.  Pointing at Samsung and yelling, "LOOK OVER THERE AT THEM!!" doesn't actually address the issue.  It just looks like an attempt to deflect.  Wondering if you have an opinion about the actual topic.

    This issue seems pretty cut and dried imo.  Apple made their partners pay for Apple's TV advertising and the cost warranty repairs (would really crappy if Apple also received money for Applecare).  Their legal gymnastics ran it's course and Apple decided it would be cheaper to settle than risk a verdict.  Simple business decision.
    muthuk_vanalingamseanismorrisFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 4 of 16
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    I wonder how they forced them? I thought the Koreans only bought home-grown phones. 
    FileMakerFeller
  • Reply 5 of 16
    revenantrevenant Posts: 621member
    revenant said:
    anti-competitive? have they met Samsung? apple maps (and google maps) in Korea are just not good--why? because of fair and competitive (ha) laws aimed to help naver and daum/kakoa. no Apple Pay? I am sure it is just because it is not up to snuff here where only Korean companies are smart enough they can do it (though I believe there is one Chinese company).
    For the sake of conversation let's say you're right.  How would that mitigate the accusations against Apple?  Apple's sales partners were accusing them of anti-competitive behavior.  Pointing at Samsung and yelling, "LOOK OVER THERE AT THEM!!" doesn't actually address the issue.  It just looks like an attempt to deflect.  Wondering if you have an opinion about the actual topic.

    This issue seems pretty cut and dried imo.  Apple made their partners pay for Apple's TV advertising and the cost warranty repairs (would really crappy if Apple also received money for Applecare).  Their legal gymnastics ran it's course and Apple decided it would be cheaper to settle than risk a verdict.  Simple business decision.
    apple's sales partners here in Korea charge the same amount apple does, no less. they still do, and two of them only sell what apple sells (though they seem to be allowed to sell whatever cases they want). mobile carriers make a fortune off of iPhone.  the third party places for repair over here have consistently held a stupidly high bar for free repairs under apple care. they also, as my wife and I found out, do not use apple certified parts. we replaced her MacBook Air battery and received a new one that charged just as badly as the one we replaced--opened it up and it was not an apple battery but some Chinese knockoff (sorry I did not take pics it was 5 years ago). she also spilled juice other MacBook keyboard and we took it in. sticky keys are not covered under AppleCare so we paid over $600 for a new keyboard and the repair took a whole week. When the apple store opened here we took it in because she said it never felt the same since the repair. they replaced the keyboard for FREE and told us it was not an apple certified keyboard. we showed them the receipt and we were told that a lot of people are coming to have their items that were repaired at the third party repair shops be repaired again with the apple store finding the parts are not oem. a friend of mine took his iPhone to a third party repair place (he had apple care) and they said the issue was his logic board but that apple care did not cover it and it would cost him ₩800,000 to have it replaced. apple store came to town and honoured his apple care and replaced the phone. seems to me the third part places made plenty of money while saving on parts by using inferior ones.

    all I can do for offering proof is relay conversations I have had with my friend who works at Samsung (he works on mobile regulatory issues and contracts for south east Asia and Australia). he said Samsung spends a large amount of money to lobby the government to keep as much as they can in their hands when it comes to maps and things like contactless payments. this is obviously not proof for anyone who does not know him or myself, and clearly not in a forum. 
    edited August 2020 PShimiFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 6 of 16
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    This is an out and out bribe. Typical of Korean business practices.
  • Reply 7 of 16
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 1,501member
    State sanctioned extortion. 
    SpamSandwichBeats
  • Reply 8 of 16
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    chadbag said:
    State sanctioned extortion. 
    If I recall correctly, Walmart got into trouble with US regulators for doing something a bit similar to this in China.
  • Reply 9 of 16
    chadbag said:
    State sanctioned extortion. 
    Like most taxes?
    ...
    They could have just fined Apple.  The US does that all the time...

    With this, a least the moneys would at least go something productive.  Some of it will even benefit Apple’s business there.
  • Reply 10 of 16
    PezaPeza Posts: 197member
    Open bribery, guess that’s the nature of business over there, but it does prove Apple are worried about these investigations, must mean they don’t feel as confident of winning, probably because they are guilty.
    edited August 2020 muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 11 of 16
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,564member
    revenant said:
    revenant said:
    anti-competitive? have they met Samsung? apple maps (and google maps) in Korea are just not good--why? because of fair and competitive (ha) laws aimed to help naver and daum/kakoa. no Apple Pay? I am sure it is just because it is not up to snuff here where only Korean companies are smart enough they can do it (though I believe there is one Chinese company).
    For the sake of conversation let's say you're right.  How would that mitigate the accusations against Apple?  Apple's sales partners were accusing them of anti-competitive behavior.  Pointing at Samsung and yelling, "LOOK OVER THERE AT THEM!!" doesn't actually address the issue.  It just looks like an attempt to deflect.  Wondering if you have an opinion about the actual topic.

    This issue seems pretty cut and dried imo.  Apple made their partners pay for Apple's TV advertising and the cost warranty repairs (would really crappy if Apple also received money for Applecare).  Their legal gymnastics ran it's course and Apple decided it would be cheaper to settle than risk a verdict.  Simple business decision.
    apple's sales partners here in Korea charge the same amount apple does, no less. they still do, and two of them only sell what apple sells (though they seem to be allowed to sell whatever cases they want). mobile carriers make a fortune off of iPhone.  the third party places for repair over here have consistently held a stupidly high bar for free repairs under apple care. they also, as my wife and I found out, do not use apple certified parts. we replaced her MacBook Air battery and received a new one that charged just as badly as the one we replaced--opened it up and it was not an apple battery but some Chinese knockoff (sorry I did not take pics it was 5 years ago). she also spilled juice other MacBook keyboard and we took it in. sticky keys are not covered under AppleCare so we paid over $600 for a new keyboard and the repair took a whole week. When the apple store opened here we took it in because she said it never felt the same since the repair. they replaced the keyboard for FREE and told us it was not an apple certified keyboard. we showed them the receipt and we were told that a lot of people are coming to have their items that were repaired at the third party repair shops be repaired again with the apple store finding the parts are not oem. a friend of mine took his iPhone to a third party repair place (he had apple care) and they said the issue was his logic board but that apple care did not cover it and it would cost him ₩800,000 to have it replaced. apple store came to town and honoured his apple care and replaced the phone. seems to me the third part places made plenty of money while saving on parts by using inferior ones.

    all I can do for offering proof is relay conversations I have had with my friend who works at Samsung (he works on mobile regulatory issues and contracts for south east Asia and Australia). he said Samsung spends a large amount of money to lobby the government to keep as much as they can in their hands when it comes to maps and things like contactless payments. this is obviously not proof for anyone who does not know him or myself, and clearly not in a forum. 

    This is why I can't stand "right-to-repair" idiots. Small shops will buy Chinese knockoffs to save a dollar. I only want Apple to repair their products.

    And your last paragraph is nothing new. Samsung is known as the local bully in South Korea.
  • Reply 12 of 16
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    Peza said:
    Open bribery, guess that’s the nature of business over there, but it does prove Apple are worried about these investigations, must mean they don’t feel as confident of winning, probably because they are guilty.
    I doubt they arrived at this solution on their own. It was probably “suggested” to them by someone in Korean government.
  • Reply 13 of 16
    revenant said:
    revenant said:
    anti-competitive? have they met Samsung? apple maps (and google maps) in Korea are just not good--why? because of fair and competitive (ha) laws aimed to help naver and daum/kakoa. no Apple Pay? I am sure it is just because it is not up to snuff here where only Korean companies are smart enough they can do it (though I believe there is one Chinese company).
    For the sake of conversation let's say you're right.  How would that mitigate the accusations against Apple?  Apple's sales partners were accusing them of anti-competitive behavior.  Pointing at Samsung and yelling, "LOOK OVER THERE AT THEM!!" doesn't actually address the issue.  It just looks like an attempt to deflect.  Wondering if you have an opinion about the actual topic.

    This issue seems pretty cut and dried imo.  Apple made their partners pay for Apple's TV advertising and the cost warranty repairs (would really crappy if Apple also received money for Applecare).  Their legal gymnastics ran it's course and Apple decided it would be cheaper to settle than risk a verdict.  Simple business decision.
    apple's sales partners here in Korea charge the same amount apple does, no less. they still do, and two of them only sell what apple sells (though they seem to be allowed to sell whatever cases they want). mobile carriers make a fortune off of iPhone.  the third party places for repair over here have consistently held a stupidly high bar for free repairs under apple care. they also, as my wife and I found out, do not use apple certified parts. we replaced her MacBook Air battery and received a new one that charged just as badly as the one we replaced--opened it up and it was not an apple battery but some Chinese knockoff (sorry I did not take pics it was 5 years ago). she also spilled juice other MacBook keyboard and we took it in. sticky keys are not covered under AppleCare so we paid over $600 for a new keyboard and the repair took a whole week. When the apple store opened here we took it in because she said it never felt the same since the repair. they replaced the keyboard for FREE and told us it was not an apple certified keyboard. we showed them the receipt and we were told that a lot of people are coming to have their items that were repaired at the third party repair shops be repaired again with the apple store finding the parts are not oem. a friend of mine took his iPhone to a third party repair place (he had apple care) and they said the issue was his logic board but that apple care did not cover it and it would cost him ₩800,000 to have it replaced. apple store came to town and honoured his apple care and replaced the phone. seems to me the third part places made plenty of money while saving on parts by using inferior ones.

    all I can do for offering proof is relay conversations I have had with my friend who works at Samsung (he works on mobile regulatory issues and contracts for south east Asia and Australia). he said Samsung spends a large amount of money to lobby the government to keep as much as they can in their hands when it comes to maps and things like contactless payments. this is obviously not proof for anyone who does not know him or myself, and clearly not in a forum. 
    I'm not trying to be funny, but what does any of that wall of text have to do with the topic?  You're going on about unrelated things as if they're proof of something.  Are you sure you know what we're discussing here?  The topic has nothing to do with consumers, so your anecdotes aren't relevant.  This is about vendor-supplier relationships.
  • Reply 14 of 16
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    Peza said:
    Open bribery, guess that’s the nature of business over there, but it does prove Apple are worried about these investigations, must mean they don’t feel as confident of winning, probably because they are guilty.
    Or most likely because they knew that without a bribe they had no chance of winning. 

    Apple has simply adapted to the situation on the ground. They’re dealing with a country that has a built a revolving door to the prison housing Samsung executives. Their case was not going to be won on its merits, it was going to be won on bribes. Illegal in some countries, par for the course in others.  

    Your additional ‘probably because they’re guilty’ is just you exposing your antipathy towards Apple, ‘probably’ because you’re upset by the ASi plan (see how easy that is?)



    edited August 2020
  • Reply 15 of 16
    revenantrevenant Posts: 621member
    revenant said:
    revenant said:
    anti-competitive? have they met Samsung? apple maps (and google maps) in Korea are just not good--why? because of fair and competitive (ha) laws aimed to help naver and daum/kakoa. no Apple Pay? I am sure it is just because it is not up to snuff here where only Korean companies are smart enough they can do it (though I believe there is one Chinese company).

    I'm not trying to be funny, but what does any of that wall of text have to do with the topic?  You're going on about unrelated things as if they're proof of something.  Are you sure you know what we're discussing here?  The topic has nothing to do with consumers, so your anecdotes aren't relevant.  This is about vendor-supplier relationships.

    there was not an apple store in korea when the iphone came. if your iphone had a problem you had to take it to the carrier who offloaded you to a third-party repaid shop (if you were lucky they would replace the phone with a refurbished one and send the customer's to apple. repairs were not completed by apple as they were not in the country. repairs were stupidly expensive and rarely carried out by carriers.
    carriers made (and are making) lots of money off the iphone. what is unfair or anticompetitive? no one forced them to sell the iphone. they could force apple to renegotiate at any time--the carriers could band together and stop selling the iphone until they work something out with apple.
    my anecdotes show that the repair system over here charged exorbitant sums for inferior parts--carriers are whinging over something they are not doing which is repair.
  • Reply 16 of 16
    PezaPeza Posts: 197member
    Rayz2016 said:
    Peza said:
    Open bribery, guess that’s the nature of business over there, but it does prove Apple are worried about these investigations, must mean they don’t feel as confident of winning, probably because they are guilty.
    Or most likely because they knew that without a bribe they had no chance of winning. 

    Apple has simply adapted to the situation on the ground. They’re dealing with a country that has a built a revolving door to the prison housing Samsung executives. Their case was not going to be won on its merits, it was going to be won on bribes. Illegal in some countries, par for the course in others.  

    Your additional ‘probably because they’re guilty’ is just you exposing your antipathy towards Apple, ‘probably’ because you’re upset by the ASi plan (see how easy that is?)



    And your ignoring Apples history, they have a habit of taking everything to court no matter what! The only case I remember they backed out from was with its spat with Ericsson, because they damn well knew Ericsson would have ripped them to pieces in the court room.
    So I don’t buy your sentiment here as Apples historical behaviour proves you wrong and indicates Apples guilty conscience.
    revenant
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