South Korea’s antitrust watchdog approved a KRW100 billion ($89.4 million) settlement proposed by Apple’s local unit to address allegations it abuses its dominant positions in the apps and device markets, settling a long-running dispute, The Korea Herald reported.
The Fair Trade Commission (FTC) decision follows a comprehensive consultation on Apple’s proposed financial remedy to address alleged unfair market practices.
FTC chair Joh Sung-wook said this is the first time a voluntary correction scheme provides direct benefits to consumers, such as repair and warranty cost discounts, noting it will appoint an accounting company to ensure Apple delivers the promised benefits, the newspaper stated.
Apple told The Korea Herald it was pleased to have reached a conclusion it believed offered widespread benefits to local businesses and suppliers.
In August 2020, the company committed to sharing advertising costs and improving consultation procedures, and to spend KRW40 billion establishing an R&D centre for SMEs, KRW35 billion for developer training and KRW25 billion for discounts on iPhone repairs.
The FTC commenced a probe in September 2019, exploring if Apple abused its market power by requiring operators to pay for advertising and warranty repairs.