South Korean mobile-phone operator LG Uplus has been reported to the country’s telecoms watchdog by rival Korea Telecom (KT) for allegedly signing up customers illegally, according to a report from the Yonhap News Agency.
“KT [Seoul, South Korea] has submitted a report to the Korea Communications Commission (KCC) requesting a strict measure on LG Uplus [Seoul, South Korea], which has been receiving subscribers through illegal means despite its business suspension stemming from excessive subsidy payments,” said KT in a press release.
The KCC banned KT, LG Uplus and SK Telecom (Seoul, South Korea) from signing up new customers after finding the three operators had offered excessive subsidies to some subscribers – effectively discriminating against others – between July and December last year.
SK Telecom, the market leader, was hit with a fine of 6.89 billion won ($6.5 million) and banned from attracting new customers for 22 days, while KT received a fine of 2.85 billion won and 20-day suspension.
LG Uplus was fined 2.15 billion won and received a 24-day suspension, which came into effect on Monday.
According to the accusations made by KT, LG Uplus has continued to sign up customers through some of its retail partners.
The Yonhap report indicates that SK Telecom “has detected similar irregularities and plans to take the case to the FCC”.
LG Uplus denies the allegations, claiming it has instructed retailers not to sign up customers and will take action against any that continue to do so.
It also insists that “its rival firm exaggerated the situation” and will respect the KCC suspension.