Apple has found itself in a bit of hot water with the Taiwan government, as it’s been ordered to pay a fine of $670,000 due to unsavory pricing plans. Taiwan’s Fair Trade Commission is serving out the penalty because it says Apple influenced phone pricing through distributors and service providers in the region.
Three of the countries carriers were forced to turn in pricing plans for the iPhone before the phones were even available.
“Through the email correspondence between Apple and these three telecom companies we discovered the companies submit their pricing plans to Apple to be approved or confirmed before the products hit the market,” it said in a statement.
Apple could also face an additional fine of NT$50 million (around $1.7 million US) if it doesn’t change its shady practices with the three telecom companies.
It found the Cupertino-based company violated article 18 of Taiwan’s Fair Trade Act by telling Taiwan’s three main service providers how much to sell iPhones for. Apple also asked Chunghwa Telecom Co., Far Eastone Telecommunication Co. and Taiwan Mobile Co. to adjust rates.
The U.S. computer company has no right to meddle in companies’ iPhone pricing plans after selling them distribution rights, the commission said. The three carriers can distribute or resell iPhones at their complete discretion after paying Apple for those rights, the commission added.
Apple will more than likely pay the $670k so it can move on with the business of flipping millions of iPhones. That kind of cash is bubblegum money for Apple at this point.