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back to article Samsung and LG hit with MASSIVE price fixing fine

South Korean regulator the Fair Trade Commission (FTC) has slapped a 45.3bn won (£25.5m) fine on mobile phone operators and handset makers in the country including Samsung and LG after finding them guilty of price fixing and consumer fraud. The Yonhap news agency reported that handset giants Samsung Electronics Co and LG along …

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Anonymous Coward

So how is this different?

Price of Xperia Ray in the UK from an operator ~ 329£. Real price - 249£. Sounds familiar? How about HTC? Wildfire - operator 250£, real price 169. Shall we continue?

That is normal practice. UK is not worst offender in Eu by the way. Spain is exemplary to that respect.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: So how is this different?

That's a normal retail mark up. This is them operating a cartel in effect to fix prices for components

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Anonymous Coward

Re: So how is this different?

Isn't this the opposite of what's being said in the article... general public prices inflated to make operator prices combined with contract look considerably discounted and better value?

Unless I'm the idiot?!

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Silver badge

Korea fining its own companies??

What is the world coming to!? Oh... £25 millions only? I guess that'll teach them, then.

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Anonymous Coward

Not massive Enough

They have a real track record of this. They've been caught price fixing on washing machines and other white goods previously.

The fines aren't big enough to deter them doing it again. It seems that they treat this as one of the hazards of doing business and are quite happy to rip off customers until they are caught.

They'll pay up, then it's back to business as usual.

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Anonymous Coward

Most Major Corporations Do This

They just have not been caught yet.

It's about time individuals were prosecuted for criminal conspiracy to defraud.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Most Major Corporations Do This

Not all:

"When it comes to Apple’s iPhone, however, the FTC said it found no attempts of offering a subsidy or inflating factory prices for sales in Korea. "

http://www.koreaherald.com/business/Detail.jsp?newsMLId=20120315001082

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Trollface

"Apple prices not overinflated"

Now THAT'S news.

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Re: Most Major Corporations Do This

The heads of more than one of South Korea's chaebols have seen the inside of a jail. But they never seem to serve out their sentences and on release they are promptly reinstated.

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A bit like

Tesco and Sainsburys moving the price of bog standard Aussie wines up from a fiver a bottle a few years ago to £13.99 so that they can then give us amazing half price offers at 7 quid.

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g e
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FAIL

To quote a certain geezer

Naughty, naughty. Very very Naughty.

25M is hardly a disincentive, though, is it, although I suppose it might wipe out the profit made by the specific crime perhaps?

Not like they're the first to be caught, or will be the last, much less the last to do it and not be caught. Gain vs loss chances makes it worthwhile.

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jai
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Re: To quote a certain geezer

omg is that an Ezzer Goode quote? haven't thought about that track in years! good on you sir!!

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Anonymous Coward

Hmm...

So,

if an average "you and me" commit fraud we go to jail... a big company does it and essentially gets off with a "naughty boy , don't do it again"?

Seems fair....

Only way to deter these things (and actually let company heads justify their "it's because we take risks" salary) would be automatic jail time for those at the top.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hmm...

You could always boycott their products. There's still a great deal of bad feeling towards Sony in some circles because of their dodgy goings on. Not in the same wrong doings admittedly.

That way you can avoid the Samsung tax.

None of the fine money will be going to customers they shafted

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Locked hadsets are wrong...

The concept of operators selling "subsidized" handsets and then extracting money through contracts and higher talk rates itself is a setup that does not really benefit people.Whats more a ridiculous majority of people think its great and think iPhone actually costs $200. This setup should be banned.All phones must be sold sim-free and sim-card/pone-service should be sold separately.

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FAIL

Re: Locked hadsets are wrong...

> a setup that does not really benefit people

Seriously? You want everyone to pay £300-£500+ for handsets up front? It might be cheaper in the long-run if you can afford to buy your handsets and then take out a SIM-free contract or use PAYG, but most people prefer not to fork out so much and are happy with a free* or cheap* handset up front, even if that means their monthly cost is more.

Also, with your model, operators would not be able to tie people in to contracts, and so as their revenue would be a lot more unpredictable, you can be certain that the cost of calls / data / texts would go up.

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Facepalm

Re: Locked hadsets are wrong...

" You want everyone to pay £300-£500+ for handsets up front?"

Cos the only possible alternative is locked handsets is it?

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Re: Locked hadsets are wrong...

You obviously know of these possible alternatives, so why don't you enlighten the rest of us?

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Re: Locked hadsets are wrong...

You want everyone to pay £300-£500+ for handsets up front?

How on earth is a piece of mass produced consumer electronics that is only 2"x4" in size costing £300-£500 a pop, {face-palm} Doh! its because a price fixing cartel has being pushing up the price of the product to make super-normal profits.

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WTF?

Re: Locked hadsets are wrong...

Oh, silly me. Just because it's small, it must be inexpensive to develop and bring such products to market, and so we should be able to buy them for 99p. Tell you what, why don't you start making phones that can rival the iPhone and the Samsung Galaxy S II, and sell them for a lot less money. Once you've done that, come back and tell us all, and we'll all be really impressed, I promise.

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Stop

Re: Locked hadsets are wrong...

1. I would suggest you to use banking or a undiscovered idea called "saving up" to pay for *expensive handset. Contracts are not the only way to distribute the price over time.

2.Selling handsets is not the only way to bind people in contracts.Contracts can offer cheaper plans as they make the revenue predictable(in your language) instead of throwing in a handset.

3.Thats not "my" model.Thats what is done in my country.And call rates are so cheap here that my country has recently been in news for even poor people being able to afford mobiles even if they cant own a lavatory.

4.You seriously need to "think" before deciding that current situation is the only way to sell stuff.Get a broader idea of whats happening before posting "FAIL" on others comments.

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Megaphone

Re: Locked hadsets are wrong...

possible alternatives

1. Saving up

2. Buying cheaper, less capable handset

3. Borrow from bank

4. hire

5. hire purchase

6. Buy second hand

Want me to go on?

Any of these can be done without HAVING to be locked into the operator. In fact if you think about it, why was the SIM standard created in the first place? It wasn't to enable operators to lock handsets, was it?

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Flame

Only wish...

... that our own fair trade people would pull their heads out of their collective backsides and do the same for UK energy providers.

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Anonymous Coward

its all about money

What, a big company price fixing and screwing ther customers? Never. I don't believe you!!!

DURRR!

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FAIL

"incentivise"

Bad Register! Very bad. Go and sit in the corner and think about what you just said.

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WTF?

Don't fine the companies!

Fine the bloody indivuals who collude! Better still out them in jail for a bit. Otherwise they just pay the fines and carry on business as normal and let's face it. The fines are never as much as they made by price fixing anyhow. They are laughing all the way.

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