Apple Korea vows to invest $84 million in small businesses as anti-trust settlement

To avoid a punitive decision from the South Korean Fair Trade Commission (KFTC), Apple Korea has proposed to invest a heft $84 million to support small businesses, consumers, and other sectors in the country. An investigation was launch by the commission in 2016, when the Korean division of Apple took payments for advertisements and repair services of iPhones under warranty from mobile carriers: LG Uplus Corp, KR Corp, and SK Telecom.

As reported by Reuters, the investigation found the company responsible for taking advantage of the local telecom industry. Therefore, before a legal verdict, Apple Korea has agreed to invest in various sectors for development like education, research and development, and local businesses.

A spokesperson for KFTC said,

“Apple has agreed to fix “unfair” terms with mobile carriers as part of its proposal, the KFTC said in a briefing. For example, Apple will discuss how to share advertising costs with telecoms firms, which will help reduce burdens to carriers.”

Apple Korea

Apple Korea’s Anti-trust Investigation

It is reported that a deal between the company and the regulatory body has been agreed upon and the offered 100 billion won ($84.02 million) bailout will be distributed as:

  • 40 billion won to build a center for research and development for small manufacturers in South Korea.
  • 25 billion won to establish an ‘Academy’ for developers’ education.
  • 25 billion won will be used to give discounts to users on warranty repairs and others.

“The regulator will close the case without concluding whether Apple did anything illegal if it finds the proposed remedies reasonable after collecting public opinion.”

However, Apple Korea’s concerns might not be over just yet. A group of Korean developers has accused Apple and Google of unfair commission rates for their respective app stores.

The company is facing two other anti-trust investigations in the United States and the European Commission for App Store 30% commission rate. Recently, the iPhone maker has engaged in a legal battle with Epic Games for violating its App Store policy.

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