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SK Telecom fined for incompatible music-playing handsets

Darren Murph

While Verizon had its own go 'round with the law about crippling Bluetooth functionality on its phones, now South Korea's SK Telecom is facing a stiff fine of its own due to antitrust violations. The Fair Trade Commission (FTC) tagged the telecommunications giant with a $356,070 fine after taking issue with programming installed on handsets that only allowed users to play back music purchased through the firm's "Melon" music service. Interestingly, the report claims that "MP3 files obtained legally through different online sources cannot work on SK Telecom licensed phones, forcing MP3 file users to purchase only MP3 files from Melon," which leads us to believe that MP3 -- at least in this instance -- refers to any digital audio file. Nevertheless, the company now has 60 days to correct the problem and allow users to rock out to whatever tunes they so desire, so those affected by this snafu should be good to go come February.

[Via Techdirt]

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