Apple is often accused of abusing its power in the relationship it has with carriers and other partners across the world, and in South Korea, this alleged behavior led to a legal dispute started by the country’s competition watchdog.
The Fair Trade Commission previously accused Apple of forcing local carriers, including here SK Telecom, KT, and LG Uplus, to cover the costs of iPhone ads that were streamed on TV.
While Apple admitted that the company indeed requested mobile phone carriers to pay for the ads, it explained that such an approach is not in violation of competition laws, as these firms would also benefit from the increased sales that the TV spots would generate.
In other words, Apple says that if the ads are successful and they boost the sales of iPhones in South Korea, the mobile carriers too benefit from the whole thing, as they are the ones selling these devices in the first place.
Apple now seeking a settlement
But South Korea’s regulator insisted this wasn’t the correct approach, emphasizing that the profits of mobile phone carriers were impacted by Apple’s TV ads for the iPhone.
The Cupertino-based tech giant seems to finally accept this idea, so the company has recently submitted what is called a consent decree to the commission. In plain English, this means that Apple wants to settle the dispute outside of the court, albeit further details on how the company wants to do that aren’t yet available.
A report from South Korea-based The Investor reveals that a decision on whether the settlement would be accepted or not is to be made in the coming weeks.
It goes without saying that Apple has remained completely tight-lipped on this proposal, but we should hear more about this from the commission itself when a decision on the case is made.