Although this is not the first time that Apple accused of practicing anti-competitive sales tactics (1, 2), the Cupertino giant is not usually known for violating laws that prove these practices.
However, the story appears to be a little different for Ma in Japan, where she received, for the second time, a warning from regulatory authorities for forcing operators in the country to sell iPhones at lower prices and to charge higher plan fees. , as disclosed by Reuters.
Also according to the news agency, the Fair Trade Commission (FTC, US-based trade watchdog) said Apple has allowed Japanese operators NTT DoCoMo, KDDI and SoftBank offer subsidies on sales of iPhones (reducing the price of these devices), but increasing the value of monthly plans.
Forcing operators to offer subsidies (for iPhones) could have prevented operators from offering lower and, consequently, fairer monthly rates on the market.
As mentioned above, this is not the first time that the Cupertino giant has been accused of anti-competitive commercial practices in Japan. In 2016, the FTC started investigating Ma after complaints about these practices; at the time, Apple was not punished as it agreed to review its contracts with operators.
In the case at hand, Apple offered, once again, to analyze and revise the contracts with the operators. Furthermore, he agreed that yes, operators should offer customers an option to purchase iPhones without subsidies and paying lower monthly fees.