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Korean Operators Warned Not to Subsidise Apple's iPhone 5

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South Korea's telecoms regulator, the KCC has ssued warnings to the mobile networks that they face prosecution if they offer illegal handset subsidies on the forthcoming iPhone 5 smartphone.

The handset is due to go on sale in the country later this week, and the regulator said that this raises the temptation to offer illegal subsidies to lure customers.

"The KCC will start a thorough investigation of the carriers from Dec. 7 -- the date Apple's latest iPhone comes onto the market -- as we believes chances are high that the carriers will offer illegal subsidies to attract more customers. That's against the law," an official from the agency told the Korea Times.

The warning followed reports that dealers have already started offering subsidies on the smartphone to customers who plan to switch mobile networks.

Executives from the local carriers confirmed they were warned by the regulator but their representatives declined to confirm it citing the sensitivity of the issue.

SK Telecom and Korea Telecom are expected to have received more than 700,000 pre-orders for the new handset by the time it goes on sale this Friday.

On the web: Korea Times

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Tags: apple iphone  kcc  Korea