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Apple Fined In Taiwan For iPhone Price Fixing

timothy posted about 4 months ago | from the maximizing-returns dept.

Businesses 74

Frankie70 writes "Taiwan's Fair Trade Commission has hit Apple with a small fine and warned the company that it may face a more substantial penalty if it doesn't stop interfering with carriers' iPhone pricing and the prices of the plans carriers sell alongside the iPhone. 'Through the email correspondence between Apple and these three telecom companies we discovered the companies submit their pricing plans to Apple to be approved or confirmed before the products hit the market,' Taiwan's FTC said in a statement."

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74 comments

Nice (4, Interesting)

lennier1 (264730) | about 4 months ago | (#45787545)

Meddling in the deals between the carriers and the customers has been a tradition of theirs since the first iPhone. So it couldn't have happened to a more deserving corporation.

Too bad the fine itself is so laughably low that it's probably less than their yearly budget for toilet paper in their locations around the world.

Re:Nice (2)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 4 months ago | (#45787577)

At least SOMEONE is offering some resistance. Maybe just token resistance, but still better than none.

"Nice", you say? (3, Interesting)

bogaboga (793279) | about 4 months ago | (#45787621)

If I were Apple, it would be business as usual as the fine can be recouped in just 20 minutes of worldwide operations. In fact, I'd be laughing all the way to the bank as I'd simply ask our field offices to add a few cents to the cost of devices.

This is surely some joke or useless gimmick.

Re:"Nice", you say? (3, Informative)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 4 months ago | (#45787987)

Its funny till you start getting hit with fines for wilfully ignoring their instructions. I recall a similar incident where Microsoft decided to ignore an EU ruling, and got hit with fines in the neigborhood of ~$3million per day of continued infringement.

Re:"Nice", you say? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45788783)

Man I hate that browser choice thing. The absolute first thing I have to do every time I install a Windows machine is go into Windows Update and block the browser choice update. I'm grown up, I can install another browser if I want. Thank you!

Re:Nice (4, Insightful)

Virtucon (127420) | about 4 months ago | (#45787647)

Resistance to what exactly? I see this is as a token gesture because we all know that in most nations the MSRP really means "you won't sell this for less." The problem for electronics manufacturers is that with global markets you can have a lot of variability that makes it more feasible to buy in one nation for a lower price and sell it in another for a higher price. That's why we have Blu-Ray/DVD Region Codes and Cell phones that have regional lock-in.

Cell phones have lock-in so you pay roaming and ot (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 4 months ago | (#45787689)

Cell phones have lock-in so you pay roaming and other stuff like 2+ year deals also the carriers in past even wanted you to only buy from there store and there ringtone / game / app store.

Re:Cell phones have lock-in so you pay roaming and (1)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about 4 months ago | (#45787831)

Probably what will happen is apple will buy all of the Taiwanese cell providers, then set prices as they like.

Re:Cell phones have lock-in so you pay roaming and (1)

richlv (778496) | about 4 months ago | (#45788185)

this is wrong (besides the crap grammar) - multi-year contracts are just that - contracts. there is no need to force lockin because of that. anything else is anti-competitive practice

Re:Cell phones have lock-in so you pay roaming and (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45793607)

In the US phones have lock in because you dont buy them, you rent them from your supplier and they call it a subsidy or even a free phone, and you idiots lap it up every time.
If they didnt lock you in you wouldnt be paying the rent anymore obviously.
You thought that free phone was free, ive got a bridge id like to sell you.

Re:Nice (2)

zakkudo (2638939) | about 4 months ago | (#45787699)

Companies have quoted various reasons for regioning and it changes depending on the audience they are talking to. For Nintendo, they say it is because of the ESRB and such being different between each country.

I like to play my games in Japanese. The only way I can get them is by importing them. BECAUSE ITEMS ARE REGIONED DOESN'T MEAN THEY ARE NECESSARILY THE SAME PRODUCT THEY WILL INTRINSICALLY HAVE A DIFFERENT WORTH. Even if it is only the language.

I'm honestly just waiting to lose my whole game collection one day thanks to a software update. People like me are viewed as the scum of the earth for not wanting the local english version of something.

Re:Nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45787777)

I believe the industry term is "purist snob," not "scum of the earth." Importing is a mixed bag; the Bowdlerization of English games is counterbalanced by the amazingly cliché-ridden writing style customary of popular Japanese. For every clever name that got ruined [tvtropes.org] , there are ten Metal Wolf Chaos [tvtropes.org] -like plot elements that have been bleached away from their childish roots.

Re:Nice (0)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 4 months ago | (#45787827)

" That's why we have Blu-Ray/DVD Region Codes and Cell phones that have regional lock-in."

You say that as if regional lock-in is a good thing.

Torrents don't have that nonsense.

Please explain how region codes benefit the consumer. Then explain how those cellphones differing technologies benefit the consumer. I see zero benefit for me. All the benefits accrue to the distributors, just as all benefits from DRM accrue to the distributors.

It's all hog shit.

Re:Nice (1)

Virtucon (127420) | about 4 months ago | (#45787885)

They're of no benefit to consumers in terms of price. There are reasons for having them like language preferences etc. and torrents are a delivery mechanism that avoids these things. My point is that more often than not these types of things are to ensure market prices are higher, not lower in given markets where the producer can get more for their wares.

Re:Nice (1)

Your.Master (1088569) | about 4 months ago | (#45788379)

I'm not saying I love region locking, but counterintuitively, it's overly hasty to say there's no benefit to consumers in terms of price.

Things that are region-locked tend to be things with high fixed one-time costs and very low replication costs. That means to be profitable, you must earn an essentially-fixed amount of money.

So imagine a $1 million one-time cost item with $0 replication cost, for the sake of argument. If you could region-lock, you may be able to sell 900K of them at $1 apiece in PovertyLand, and 15K of them at $10 apiece in RichWorld, thus making a profit of $50000. If you can't region-lock in any way (including non-technical methods such as mild shipping inconveniences), then they have to be the same price everywhere. If you still want to sell for $1 apiece, you need to sell 85K more of them in RichWorld, but dropping the price 90% only gets you 10K more buyers because there are a lot more poor people than rich people, so now it's not a profitable venture, so it won't happen in the first place.

But maybe you sell at $2 apiece. Now you can only sell to 490K people in PovertyLand, at 20K people in RichWorld. You're back to making a profit of $20000. However, that's less profit than before, and look at who loses:

490K people in PovertyLand paid double
410K people in PovertyLand don't get your product at all
5K more people in RichWorld get your product
15K people in RichWorld get 80% off.

In total, over 98% of consumers are worse off without region locking, and even a large portion of rich people (25%) are worse off. The corporation doesn't profit either, in fact they look worse and do worse. Only about 1.6% of people benefit, by shaving off dollars that they could have afforded anyway.

This is of course a contrived scenario, and any given actual scenario will be so complicated it's likely impossible to make a simple call. The point is it's *not* obvious who does and does not benefit in nontrivial scenarios.

Of course, this makes me consider whether capitalism is really the best model for things where initial investment is the dominant cost and ongoing capital is trivial, but that's an entirely different question which is a powderkeg on slashdot and other places.

Re:Nice (3, Insightful)

dk20 (914954) | about 4 months ago | (#45788699)

Now compare this with most companies ability to outsource with ease as labour is cheaper elsewhere.

Region locks prevent consumers from benefiting from "Globalization" even though companies can exploit it at will. If i can get a legal DVD from China for around a dollar and it has an english soundtrack why shouldn't I be able to import these back? Isn't this the same mechanism outsourcing uses (jobs to where labour is cheap, but yet you cant reimport the cheap products back)?

Underlying work (1)

tepples (727027) | about 4 months ago | (#45788025)

Please explain how region codes benefit the consumer.

The benefit to the consumer is that the adaptation of a work is allowed to be made at all.

Say a company has a decades-long contract, which predates home broadband, from the owner of copyright in a book to sublicense the book's movie rights in one particular region. Now a movie studio wants to make a movie based on the book. The sublicensor is willing to license the movie rights only on the condition that the movie not be screened or sold on home video outside the region for which the sublicensor is allowed to sublicense the film rights. So as part of negotiating this sublicense, the movie studio guarantees to the sublicensor that region coding be employed on platforms that allow it. Other underlying works, such as a book or movie adapted into a video game or popular music used in a movie or video game, may be subject to the same preexisting territorial exclusivity constraints.

A similar situation arises from differences in copyright terms among countries (life + 50, life + 70, and publication + 95 years) if, say, a movie or video game is based on a book.

Re:Underlying work (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 4 months ago | (#45788153)

I have zero respect for any such arrangement. I have equal respect for life + anything copyright terms. And, ultimately, I have zero respect for copyright law, because such absurd arrangements are upheld by corrupt legislators and judges.

How to convince legislators? (1)

tepples (727027) | about 4 months ago | (#45788213)

So how should one go about convincing 51 percent of eligible voters in your country 1. to have the same zero respect, and 2. to elevate this zero respect above abortion rights or other major single issues keeping the major parties in power?

Re:How to convince legislators? (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 4 months ago | (#45788251)

If I had the answer to that question, I would be in politics. The public is pretty apathetic regarding digital rights, freedom of the press, or any number of issues that we might take seriously.

Re:How to convince legislators? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45793701)

80% probably already do, its not the voters who decide these things its the lobbyists and the megacorps that pay for them. When the companies write their own laws, who cares what the voters want/think.

Re:Nice (0)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 4 months ago | (#45787649)

Aren't you assuming that Apple was keeping prices high? What if Apple didn't want them too high? Without knowing any more, we can only speculate. My assumption based on previous Apple history is that Apple wanted uniform pricing so that consumers were not presented with too many pricing options.

Re:Nice (0)

Megol (3135005) | about 4 months ago | (#45788913)

Have you ever looked at the prices Apple products sell for? Have you ever looked at how much Apple earn per product? I know you haven't - if so you wouldn't have posted something that ludicrous.

Re:Nice (1, Insightful)

myspys (204685) | about 4 months ago | (#45787695)

And exactly why shouldn't a company be allowed to decide how much its product should cost?

It's not like Apple has a monopoly.

Re:Nice (5, Informative)

Rockoon (1252108) | about 4 months ago | (#45787763)

And exactly why shouldn't a company be allowed to decide how much its product should cost?

Because its wrong.

You are confusing what Apple sells its devices to resellers for, and what the resellers then sell the devices for.

Apple has every right to determine the first, but has no right to determine the second.

I'm sure that Apple doesnt want to accept the consequences of these resellers being agents of Apple, primary of which is complete liability with regards to the agents actions and behavior. Yet Apple wants them to be agents in every other respect. Thats not how it works, and is why we have anti-trust laws.

US != Taiwan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45788401)

You are confusing what Apple sells its devices to resellers for, and what the resellers then sell the devices for.

Apple has every right to determine the first, but has no right to determine the second.

In the US, Apple has the right to determine both as long as they negotiate separate deals with each reseller.

So said SCOTUS http://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/competition-guidance/guide-antitrust-laws/dealings-supply-chain/manufacturer-imposed [ftc.gov]

Re:US != Taiwan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45788743)

Good thing the article is about the US and not Taiwan right? Oh Wait, the article is about Taiwan and therefore the SCOTUS ruling is not relevent?

Re:Nice (1)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | about 4 months ago | (#45791329)

You are confusing what Apple sells its devices to resellers for, and what the resellers then sell the devices for. Apple has every right to determine the first, but has no right to determine the second.

Depends on how it's being sold.

Way back in the days of CompUSA, I remember that Apple "owned" all of the machines that CompUSA sold and CompUSA basically got a commission for each Apple machine sold. But since they were Apple's machines, Apple set the prices and not CompUSA. So when Apple released a new machine, you would occasionally come in and find the new machine and the machine it replaced to be the same price because Apple hadn't set a clearance price for the older machines. This is somewhat akin to the "agency" model that Apple trumpets for digital sales.

Re:Nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45788301)

They are allowed to decide how much their product costs. They can sell it to the carrier at whatever wholesale price they desire. They have no right to tell the carrier what to do with their property once they've purchased it though. If they want to sell it for a dollar that's their business. Did Ford or Honda have to approve how much you sold your car on Craigslist for?

Re:Nice (1)

lennier1 (264730) | about 4 months ago | (#45788747)

Didn't you get the memo?
It's not their product. They only purchased a license to trow even more money in Apple's direction.

Re:Nice (2)

mysidia (191772) | about 4 months ago | (#45792051)

They are allowed to decide how much their product costs. They can sell it to the carrier at whatever wholesale price they desire. They have no right to tell the carrier what to do with their property once they've purchased it though.

Apple can require you to adhere to their price list to be an authorized Apple reseller. Apple can also refuse to supply their product to retailers who are not authorized Apple resellers.

Plenty of manufacturers do this.

Did Ford or Honda have to approve how much you sold your car on Craigslist for?

No, but the vehicle you purchased was not subject to additional conditions on your right to sell or otherwise dispose of your product in the future.

The dealer didn't make you sign a "not for resale" or "resale only at price X" agreement.

Re:Nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45793753)

Really Apple doesnt have a monopoly on selling Apple phones. Countless lawsuits would say otherwise.

Re:Nice (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45787735)

Taiwan needs to realize that Apple is probably working in the best interest of the consumer and making sure the carriers are not going to gouge the shit out of them. If Taiwan (all countries) really cared about consumers, then they would mandate that carriers can no longer sell phones and that all networks will be BYOD only.

Re:Nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45788165)

Apple... "best interest of the consumer".

LOL

Re:Nice (4, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | about 4 months ago | (#45787741)

The iPhone doesn't have anything even approaching a monopoly. Just buy an Android unit. Or a Windows unit. I like Apple's stuff, but it's not $500 better, for my needs, than my cheap Android phone. I'm all for banning monopolistic practices, but pricing agreements for a popular but non-monopoly product in a very competitive market are not a problem.

Re:Nice (1)

lennier1 (264730) | about 4 months ago | (#45787985)

So, an attempt to interfere in the carrier's pricing is alright, because the manufacturer only has a twenty or so percent market share?

Re:Nice (2)

MightyYar (622222) | about 4 months ago | (#45790035)

Sure, that's my opinion. It's the old-school dealer model. You can make whatever contractual obligations you can negotiate with the dealer.

On the other hand, I recognize that corporations are just a convenient economic tool, and rules and regulation are pretty much arbitrary, or at least are open to a lot of debate. If the Taiwanese want that kind of marketplace, it is certainly within their rights to implement it.

Re:Nice (1)

tepples (727027) | about 4 months ago | (#45788051)

The iPhone doesn't have anything even approaching a monopoly. Just buy an Android unit. Or a Windows unit.

Neither the Android unit nor the Windows unit will work with preexisting purchases. The only DRM-free thing on the iTunes Store is music, and when Android first came out, even music was still DRM.

I like Apple's stuff, but it's not $500 better, for my needs, than my cheap Android phone.

Then you happen not to be among the people who have bought at least $500 worth of books, movies, and apps from Apple.

Re:Nice (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 4 months ago | (#45789971)

Then you happen not to be among the people who have bought at least $500 worth of books, movies, and apps from Apple.

That is certainly true. I make sure any content than I purchase is platform-agnostic (or just a streaming service like Netflix). If it isn't platform agnostic, I make sure I can crack the encryption (ebooks, I'm looking at you...). If I can't crack the encryption, I pirate it. I do have a number of App purchases on both i-Things and Android tablets/phones... but I also have a bunch of Windows and Mac apps. Maybe I'm just of a certain age, but I expect to pay for software every few years anyway on the upgrade treadmill. I've been conditioned and am now part of the collective.

Re:Nice (2)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | about 4 months ago | (#45789035)

And you could buy a Mac when Microsoft got sued.

It's funny to see the fanboys come full circle and become the same as their enemy. They're like the pigs in Animal Farm.

Re:Nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45789515)

Microsoft's market share during DoJ antitrust lawsuit: > 96%
Apple's largest market share of the smartphone market, ever: 30%

Yeah, you have a great point there.

Re:Nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45791807)

No it wasn't. They were only 96% if you excluded macs and other machines. The DOJ got the judge to make the ruling strictly around x86 machines, hence why they got that market share, without that restriction they would not have qualified as a monopoloy

Re:Nice (1)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | about 4 months ago | (#45791489)

That's actually some entertaining trivia.

Microsoft tried to say that Apple was a competitor and, of course, used various statistics that showed how high Apple's market share was in certain markets (e.g., education, graphic arts). The court, though, decided that Apple was not a competitor because Apple did not use Intel chips and the government was saying that Microsoft had a monopoly on operating systems sold for personal computers running Intel x86 CPUs. Thus, Apple was not a competitor to Microsoft.

Again, though, there are some differences here. In the typical wholesale/retail model, I buy n units and receive an appropriate discount--say x%. If I buy more, I may receive a bigger discount. If I buy less, I may receive a smaller discount. But however much I pay, those units are now mine and I can sell them for whatever I see fit. My dealings with the manufacturer are done.

In Apple's "agency" model, Apple owns the hardware until it is sold. The retailer is merely an "agent" of Apple. Apple gives the agent a certain percentage of each sale and may pay for space in the agent's warehouse to store those computers. But Apple will decide what hardware the agent gets and how much it is sold for because the gear belongs to Apple.

Re:Nice (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 4 months ago | (#45792551)

It's true you could buy a Mac. It's also true you could run Linux. But realistically, you could not do without MS's products. I've had Macs since the early 90s, and it has always been necessary to either own a cheap x86 machine or run a DOS/Windows emulator. I'm sure someone on Slashdot can claim to swear off MS's stuff 100%, but I've always had to interact with other people using MS Office. Even today, I haven't been able to shed Office or Windows (though Windows is less important now, thanks to smartphones and tablets).

Anyway, MS didn't really care if you bought a Mac, because Mac people were just as likely to spend money on MS software. I even saw studies back in the day showing that MS made more profit on Mac users than on Windows users.

Re:Nice (1)

Stan92057 (737634) | about 4 months ago | (#45789359)

Um yes it does have a monopoly if you want to buy an apple product they do the very same for computers. Why is it apple computers are mush higher then a comparable Windows PC? Its all about branding. Ask women about branding they will tell you.

Re:Nice (2)

MightyYar (622222) | about 4 months ago | (#45789941)

An Apple is a brand of phone or a brand of computer. In no way does Apple have anything close to a monopoly in either of those markets. At one time, they almost cornered the MP3 player market, but history made that market irrelevant.

Re:Nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45790049)

The iPhone doesn't have anything even approaching a monopoly.

Yeah, I love it when people claim that Apple has a monopoly on it's own products... OMG... Chevrolet has a monopoly on Chevrolet cars... why doesn't the competition watchdog do something about it?

Re:Nice (1)

bloodhawk (813939) | about 4 months ago | (#45790381)

You don't need to have a monopoly for price fixing to be illegal. they could be a 1% market share and it would still be illegal. They have no right to interfere with the carriers pricing except to dictate the price that they sell to the carrier at and even that has to be on fair and equitable terms.

Re:Nice (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 4 months ago | (#45792191)

In the US, this would not be true. They cannot collude with other device makers to fix prices, but they most certainly can set the price of their own product.

Taiwan is free, of course, to steer their own course.

Re:Nice (2, Insightful)

Rosyna (80334) | about 4 months ago | (#45787755)

Price-fixing is artificially keeping a product's cost higher than the product is worth via collusion. Display manufacturers, various entertainment stores (Sam Goody), and memory makers have done this a lot in the past.

The opposite of price-fixing is negotiating a deal so carriers cannot charge a higher price on the iPhone than the iPhone's going rate in that region. Carriers want to carry the iPhone, but they also want to charge much more than the MSRP for the iPhone. Apple says, "You can't do both!"

Basically, the carriers in taiwan want to engage in price-fixing for the iPhone, but the agreement they willingly made with Apple prevents it.

Re:Nice (1)

organgtool (966989) | about 4 months ago | (#45788147)

The opposite of price-fixing is negotiating a deal so carriers cannot charge a higher price on the iPhone than the iPhone's going rate in that region.

Price fixing is trying to dictate the price of a good or service at any point of resale. It doesn't matter if the intent is to keep the price up or down, it is still price fixing.

Carriers want to carry the iPhone, but they also want to charge much more than the MSRP for the iPhone

Where did you get this? The article doesn't mention anything close to this and traditionally Apple has fought to prevent the product from being sold under certain prices because they don't want their products to appear "cheap".

Basically, the carriers in taiwan want to engage in price-fixing for the iPhone, but the agreement they willingly made with Apple prevents it.

Now you've really missed the mark. Apple is the one engaged in price-fixing, not the carriers. That is why Apple is the one being fined! How did this comment get modded insightful?!

Re:Nice (1)

Rosyna (80334) | about 4 months ago | (#45788413)

Where did you get this? The article doesn't mention anything close to this and traditionally Apple has fought to prevent the product from being sold under certain prices because they don't want their products to appear "cheap".

From the carriers that complain they can't make as much profit on an iPhone as they do on other phones? The carriers want to increase the price of the iPhones to consumers to increase their profit margins.

Re:Nice (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | about 4 months ago | (#45789155)

From the carriers that complain they can't make as much profit on an iPhone as they do on other phones?

Did you miss the part where Apple isnt keeping the prices artificially low, but instead is keeping the prices artificially high?

Yes, you did miss that part.

Re:Nice (1)

Rosyna (80334) | about 4 months ago | (#45791289)

Did you miss the part where Apple isnt keeping the prices artificially low, but instead is keeping the prices artificially high?

Where was that part?

Either punish both or punish neither. (1)

bussdriver (620565) | about 4 months ago | (#45788841)

The Carriers are a monopoly power, they compete as little as possible because they know they are the only choice. Being all in the stock market, they have like minded institutional share holders who probably invest in the group of them - which makes them even more unlikely to truly complete; while the short term investors do push them to compete the net result is they will do nothing to lower prices but will compete with approximately the same levels of infrastructure investment (as little as possible.)

Price fixing is the NORM for telecom, so it is kind of sick that Apple is caught doing it against them - doesn't matter if it was right or wrong, it's still price fixing. The laws can be circumvented, Apple may learn how or people will be hacking around with imported devices.

Re:Either punish both or punish neither. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45790405)

The Carriers are a monopoly power, they compete as little as possible because they know they are the only choice. Being all in the stock market, they have like minded institutional share holders who probably invest in the group of them - which makes them even more unlikely to truly complete; while the short term investors do push them to compete the net result is they will do nothing to lower prices but will compete with approximately the same levels of infrastructure investment (as little as possible.)

The word you're looking for is cartel and forming a cartel is certainly illegal and its existence easy to prove - not to mention that in most jurisdictions blowing the whistle means a substantial reward. And the telecoms industry is even more regulated than most other industries so it is highly unlikely that anything like that is going on.

Re:Nice (2)

sribe (304414) | about 4 months ago | (#45787923)

Meddling in the deals between the carriers and the customers has been a tradition of theirs since the first iPhone.

True. But going back to the first iPhone: do you really think it was bad for Apple to push AT&T to provide unlimited data at a then-unheard-of rate?
Do you think it was a good thing that in later years either Apple quit pushing for that or AT&T won the argument, and that rate now gets us a piddly amount of data???

Re:Nice (1)

puto (533470) | about 4 months ago | (#45790779)

As someone who works for the company you mentioned. Our unlimited data plans for Smart Phones were originally $20 dollars before the Iphone. Apple pushed us to raise the price of unlimited data so it could be a premium service for a premium product. And I imagine that extra 10 dollars went to Apple for some years.

Yearly? More like DAILY budged! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45787971)

Meddling in the deals between the carriers and the customers has been a tradition of theirs since the first iPhone. So it couldn't have happened to a more deserving corporation.

Too bad the fine itself is so laughably low that it's probably less than their yearly budget for toilet paper in their locations around the world.

That fine barely covers their DAILY budget - considering all the BS Apple is able to generate.

Apple then hints they'll leave Taiwan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45787579)

The FTC immediately apologizes after a stern warning by the government.

Taiwan better think this over, they are talking ab (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45787697)

The biggest copy-cat pirates in history

Should be in the US too (0, Flamebait)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 4 months ago | (#45787703)

every small shop and large carrier everywhere has to charge the same price for Apple products like the iPhone. That's why most don't bother selling them. When my company just recently reviewed which phone model to get, they were flexible on every phone pricing and had credits etc except iPhones. So Apple priced themselves right out of the market. One of our Apple fanboy employees still looked into them but even they couldn't justify that idiotic of an expense for a fragile phone model.

Re:Should be in the US too (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45787893)

One of our Apple fanboy employees ...

Don't you love it when a Samsung fanboys create a division at work.

Well done!

Re:Should be in the US too (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45788035)

Hahahahahahahaha, found another Apple fanboy! They always imagine that if you're not a fanboy of Apple, you MUST be a fanboy of some other brand. The simple truth is we don't chain ourselves to one brand and buy everything they make, despite the grossly inflated prices and other options.
As there is an inherent flaw in their personality, it's a waste of time to debate them on these points or any others concerning their "status symbols".

iCriminals (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45787909)

Convicted and fined in the USA for price fixing.
Fined in Korea for price fixing.

Once a criminal, always a criminal.

Re:iCriminals (1)

scotts13 (1371443) | about 4 months ago | (#45789219)

Convicted and fined in the USA for price fixing.

Are you talking about the eBooks thing? If so, it's a little more complex, and far less clear cut, than "guilty of price fixing." If not that, then what?

No details (3, Interesting)

scotts13 (1371443) | about 4 months ago | (#45787913)

Note that the linked article didn't say Apple actually influenced the pricing up or down; just that they asked to review and approve the plans. I think there's a fair chance they were, as stated, trying to prevent gouging. I've worked for plenty of Apple authorized dealers; the profit margin (often less than 10%) on Apple hardware just isn't enough to allow discounts. The only real influence Apple can offer is co-op advertising. That is, you sell below a certain price and Apple doesn't reimburse you for promoting their products.

I suspect that advertising allowance (and it's influence) doesn't exist in Taiwan. So, they want to maintain some control, to avoid shady dealers (any of THOSE in Taiwan?) from sullying the brand.

Re:No details (1)

puto (533470) | about 4 months ago | (#45790821)

Shady dealers such as those little kiosks in malls, Walmarts, Radio Shacks, and Best Buys, all sell Iphones. I spend most of my day calming down customers whose accounts were screwed up because of all of those places. Also to the OP, Walmart, Best Buy, all offer deep discounts on the Iphone. They were selling the 5s for 125 over the holidays...

If Taiwan carriers are like US and European ones (2)

russotto (537200) | about 4 months ago | (#45787925)

This reads like "Apple's price-fixing is interfering with carrier price-fixing". Cry me a frigging river.

SQIAR Business Intelligence Services & Consult (-1, Flamebait)

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Nelson Muntz says... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45788159)

Ha Ha

This needs to happen in more countries (1)

jonwil (467024) | about 4 months ago | (#45791223)

It should be outright illegal for any company to supply goods to a downstream company and then tell that company what price they are going to charge to consumers.

Apple should have NO right to set prices, it should be up to phone carriers and to retailers what price is charged for iDevices. If I am a retailer and want to sell iPads for $50 (maybe as a loss leader to get people into the store), I should be allowed to do that with Apple being prohibited from penalizing me from doing so.

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