Apple Inc. (AAPL) Fined In Taiwan Over Fair Trade Breach

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has been fined for breaching a fair trade law over local iPhone pricing by the authorities in Taiwan. The iPhone maker is ordered to pay 20 million Taiwanese dollar (USD 667,000). Apple might have to pay additional 50 million Taiwanese dollar if it fails to prove the case after appealing against the ruling.

Manipulating prices

According to Fair Trade Commission of Taiwan, a unit of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), which is responsible for sales in Taiwan, has tried to manipulate the pricing and mobile phone payment rates of three local telecom service providers even though they were given the distribution rights to sell the phone.

The enquiry revealed that three network carriers; Chunghwa Telecom, Far Eastone Telecommunication and Taiwan Mobile, submitted their pricing plans to Apple for confirmation, and in turn Apple asked these mobile operators to reconsider and make changes in their prices.

In a statement, Fair Trade Commission said that Apple interfered in the liberty of telecom operators to set the prices according to their cost structure and competitive market situation, to restrict competition. Thus, the U.S. based smartphone leader violated the fair trade law.

Other cases against Apple

Earlier, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) was sued in Europe for anti-competitive complaints and investigation filed against the company for its distribution practices, including biased attitude towards the larger network operators.

Last month, the Cupertino based company came under fire for showing Taiwan under China in its new maps app. However, the labelling was changed after protest from Taiwanese government.

In another incident, internet giant Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) also filed A case against Apple-led patent group Rockstar for intimidating the Android platform and Nexus line of gadgets. Rockstar group also includes BlackBerry and Microsoft. It is worth noting that both companies are acute rival of Google in operating system segment.

According to Google, the Rockstar run patent campaign is hurting many tech companies in the Silicon Valley, and the internet giant has put forward its appeal to safeguard the Android phone makers like Samsung, Asus, LG, and HTC amongst others from probable court cases due to Rockstar campaign.

In the year 2012, Rockstar purchased a large part of the now-dysfunctional Canadian technology company Nortel’s patent for $4.5 billion in which Apple paid $2.5 billion.