Apple coughs $84m to settle South Korean market abuse case

Promises to support local businesses and stop forcing local carriers paying for ads and iThing fixes

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Apple has reached under a Cupertino sofa and found $84m with which to settle antitrust action in South Korea.

South Korea’s Fair Trade Commission took an interest in Apple during 2019 when it emerged that the company politely insisted that local carriers foot the bill for advertising and fixing under-warranty iThings. The Commission took issue with that on grounds that Apple was abusing its dominance to have carriers carry its water.

As annnounced yesterday by South Korea’s Fair Trade Commission, Apple will wind back those practices, change device price subsidies and stop pestering carriers about patents.

The Commission has also cooked up a scheme that will see Apple pay for its past naughtiness, by using the aforementioned $84m to create an R&D support centre for SMEs in the manufacturing centre, fund a developer academy and work with social enterprises to ensure schools get the tech they need.

A quarter of the settlement will go towards refunds and/or discounts for iPhone repairs.

The Commission has opened consultation on the settlement, with opinions welcome until October 3rd, 2020. A final deal will be hammered out once public feelpinions have been offered and considered. ®

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