The Korea Communications Commission (KCC) slapped a combined fine of 50.6 billion won ($47.3 million) on South Korea’s three mobile carriers for giving out subsidies beyond the legal limit.
The fine is the largest since the mobile device distribution improvement act that caps the amount of subsidies wire carriers can hand out to new buyers took effect in October 2014. SK Telecom Co., the nation’s biggest mobile carrier by the number of subscribers, was fined 21.3 billion won, KT Corp. 12.5 billion won and LG Uplus Corp. 16.7 billion won.
The watchdog said it hopes the measure would serve as an opportunity for the three telecommunications firms to shift their focus from marketing competition to improving service quality.
The regulator for internet, communications, and broadcasting services fined 7.5 million won on Samsung Electronics Sales Co. that runs 300 Samsung Digital Plaza phone retail stores across the nation and a total of 192 million won on 171 mobile device retailers nationwide.
The three wireless carriers said they would make extra efforts to prevent a recurrence of the illegal practice and focus on stabilizing the market.
By Kim Gyu-sik and Choi Mira
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]