South Korea’s Fair Trade Commission fined Samsung, LG Electronics, KT Corp. LG Uplus Corp., SK Telecom and Pantech a total of 45.3 billion won ($40 million) for “price rigging and consumer fraud,” Yonhap said on Thursday. The companies have been accused of working together to hike up the prices of 209 different phones in the country while at the same time advertising incentives for users to spend more on the devices.
The Fair Trade Commission believed that each of the aforementioned companies was trying to con consumers into paying more for a new phone while secretly tricking them into believing they were getting a good deal. Yonhap said that each of the firms have been asked to cough up details on all of the incentives they were offering and that the Fair Trade Commission is working to prevent the companies from offering further “deals” to consumers.
“Companies took advantage of the complicated price setting practice in the mobile telecommunications sector to trick consumers,” an FTC official told Yonhap. SK Telecom received a 20.2 billion won fine, Samsung was fined 14.2 billion won and KT was hit with a 5.1 billion won fine.