A peculiar report published today claims that an Apple executive tried to “physically” deter a Korean antitrust probe by an investor. The report further claims that the company hampered an investigation by the country’s official regulator. Apple is now facing a hefty fine and prosecution for obstructing The Korea Fair Trade Commission’s (FTC) investigation.
Apple Korea is to be fined $265,000 following its settlement of a local antitrust case, by the same authorities for allegedly hindering its investigation. According to the FTC, Apple Korea is facing charges because the company and an unnamed executive blocked the investigation.
Apple Korea to be fined $265,000 for allegedly impeding FTC’s investigation
According to The Korean Herald, the FTC says that the Cupertino tech giant took steps to block its raid of Apple offices in 2016. Allegedly, Apple blocked internet access and declined to submit the required documentation. The report also says that the unnamed exec “physically” attempted to derail a related part of the investigation in 2017. The Cupertino tech giant stated:
We have fully cooperated with KFTC, annd neither Apple nor any of our employees did anything wrong. We follow the law wherever we operate and strongle disagree with KFTC in this case. We look forward to sharing the facts with the authorities.
The investigation circled around the allegation that Apple had forced phone carriers in the region to pay for warranty services, and for television advertising. The investigation found Apple guilty of anti-competitive practices. Without admitting fault, the Korean Fair Trade Commission eventually allowed Apple to propose recompense for its act. The matter seemed to be closed, until now.
The report does not explain how the exec “physically” deterred the investigation, and the fact that Apple switched off the internet and refused to submit important required documents sounds bizarre. Nevertheless, the Cupertino tech giant has denied all charges and looks forward to sharing the facts with the authorities.