While the government body didn’t elaborate on the details or nature of its inherent probe into Apple’s dealings, the South Korean Fair Trade Commission (FTC) — one of the nation’s highest-ranking anti-competition regulation agencies — on Tuesday revealed that it’s currently investing “some matters” related to the Silicon Valley tech-giant’s business happenings on Samsung’s home turf.
As Reuters originally reported, South Korean FTC chairman, Jeong Jae-Chan — during a parliamentary hearing held on Tuesday morning — revealed that Apple was currently being investigated by his agency for unspecified reasons. However, it’s perhaps noteworthy to mention that, earlier this month, several prominent South Korean media outlets reported that the FTC was “looking into Apple’s contracts with various South Korean cellular service providers.”
Whether or not the inherent FTC investigation has anything to do with those reports remains unknown, however, it’s also possible that Apple’s business policies and practices related to iPhone pricing and regulation in South Korea are the target.
Apple’s tendency to not comply with various international competition laws, for instance, has been well documented. Back in 2015, the Cupertino-company was fined upwards of $647,000 by the Taiwanese government because it was allegedly over-extenuating its locus of control over certain Taiwanese wireless carriers — by forcing them to seek approval prior to lowering prices of the company’s iPhone handsets.
Similarly, albeit even more recently, Apple was accused back in April of walking a fine line in France — primarily due to the company’s apparent “oppressive tendencies” of exerting too much control over wireless carrier contract terms.
Even in South Korea, Apple has a well-documented, bittersweet history with the FTC. Back in 2012, for example, the Cupertino-company lodged a plethora of anti-trust complaints with the agency regarding Samsung’s supposed abuse of select technologies that the South Korean tech-giant apparently exploited in an effort to one-up Apple — thereby gaining a stronger foothold in the highly competitive Smartphone market.
The South Korean FTC, amid those complaints, however, ultimately rejected Apple’s allegations — deeming Samsung free and clear of any wrongdoing.
And, of course, let’s not forget that Samsung and Apple were both embroiled, fist-to-fist, in one of the most prolific and widely covered technology lawsuits of the century back then, right?
What do you think about the current South Korean FTC investigation into Apple? Let us know in the comments!