Published : 2013-12-27 15:51
Updated : 2013-12-27 18:09
Korea Communications Commission said Friday that it would impose a combined fine of 106 billion won ($101 million) on the nation’s three telecom operators, the largest amount of its kind in the telecommunication sector.
SK Telecom, the nation’s largest mobile carrier, was slapped with 56 billion won, KT with 29.7 billion won and LG Uplus with 20.7 billion won in fines for providing undue subsidies to attract customers from May to October, according to the telecom regulator.
According to the survey, the rate that SKT exceeded the legal subsidy standard was 64.3 percent, 65.8 percent for KT and 62.1 percent for LG Uplus. On average, KT gave out 430,000 won in subsidies, SK Telecom 421,000 won and LG Uplus 380,000 won. The legal subsidy standard set by the KCC is 270,000 won.
In response to the fine imposition, the telecom operators seemed to be somewhat relieved as the punishement did not include a business suspension.
In July, KT had to suspend its operation for seven days on charges of leading the illegal subsidy war. A telecom operator official who wishes to remain anonymous, said. “For us, suspension is harsher than a fine as it can lower the number of subscribers and tarnish the brand image.”
KCC said “We will put more efforts to stabilize the mobile telecom market through continued inspection.”
By Shin Ji-hye