Korean court clears carriers over subsidies

By:
James Pearce
Published on:

SK Telecom, KT, and LG Uplus stood accused of breaching strict limitations on handset incentives

A court in South Korea has acquitted SK Telecom, KT, and LG Uplus of charges of violating a ban on excessive subsidies, according to reports from the country.

Yonhap news agency reported that the Seoul Central District Court has cleared the operators of claims they had violated the Mobile Device Distribution Improvement Act.

Former board members at the companies had been charged in April, claiming they had exceeded strict limits on subsidies in retail stores that are used to attract customers. 

Prosecutors claimed SK Telecom, KT and LG Uplus paid up to 460,000 won, 560,000 won and 413,000 won per device, respectively when the iPhone 6 launched in 2014, compared with a limit of 300,000 won ($255).

The subsidy law came in to force in October 2014, but this is the first time carriers have stood trial over allegedly breaching it.Clearing them, a Seoul judge said the prosecutors had failed to failed to provide enough evidence to secure a conviction, according to the Yonhap report.