Fair Trade Commission now officially investigating suspected iPhone cartel

By Joy Chang, The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — The Fair Trade Commission (FTC) yesterday officially began investigating the lack of price difference between different carriers’ iPhone 6 plans, local media reported.

According to Kuomintang (KMT) legislator Ting Shou-chung (丁守中), Chunghwa Telecom (CHT, 中華電信), Taiwan Mobile (台灣大哥大), and Far EasTone (遠傳電信) are all offering a 30-month iPhone 6 plan at NT$6,900 and a 24-month plan at NT$8,900. In addition, iPhone 6 plus plans are all offered at the same price by major carriers, with the 30-month plan at NT$10,400 and the 24-month plan at NT$12,400. The three major Taiwanese carriers denied the accusations and claimed that no price agreements were made.

A CHT spokesperson said that their company is the first carrier to promote plans for the iPhone 6. CHT employees had to take many factors into consideration when determining contract prices, such as market demand, sales figures and cost. The spokesperson denied all accusations of acting in concert with other carriers.

The spokesperson of Far EasTone said that the details of the plans differ from one carrier to another and Far EasTone’s iPhone 6 contract price is based on market demand. The company did not exchange information with other carriers about its intended plan prices before the launch of the iPhone 6. Taiwan Mobile said that since the launch of the iPhone 6, the competition among carriers has become more heated, allowing no room for price agreements.