KT says rival ignoring ban on new usersKT reported its rival LG U+ to the communications watchdog yesterday for using illegal means to attract subscribers.
“KT has submitted a report to the Korea Communications Commission [KCC] requesting that strict measures be applied on LG U+, which has been receiving subscribers through illegal means despite recently having its business operations suspended due to offering excessive subsidy payments,” KT said in a press release.
KT argued that LG U+ was registering new subscribers by opening accounts for them under other users’ names then later transferring the account over to the actual subscriber.
In this way they are not registered as “new subscribers,” but rather as users who have switched over to using different mobile devices, enabling the carrier to dodge the temporary sales ban on its services.
LG U+ had its operations suspended for 24 days from Monday, meaning it is banned from accepting new subscribers for most of this month as part of the KCC’s punitive measures to clamp down on excessive subsidies.
Last month, the watchdog fined the country’s three major mobile carriers - SK Telecom, KT and LG U+ - a combined 11.89 billion won ($11.18 million) in addition to imposing business suspensions after they were found to be offering discriminative subsidies that resulted in unfair reductions on the price of new smartphone handsets.
Top player SK Telecom was fined 6.89 billion won and given a 22-day suspension, while KT was slapped with a 2.85 billion won fine and handed a 20-day ban. LG U+ received 2.15 billion won in fines in addition to the longest business suspension.
The KCC said it found the three companies had discriminated against subscribers by paying subsidies of more than 270,000 won to certain users between July and December last year.
By Lee Ho-jeong, Yonhap [email@example.com]
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