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Samsung, LG and Pantech, among others, fined $40 million in Korean price fixing scam

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The truth in advertising is that there is none -- it's mostly all smoke and mirrors. But sometimes those illusory promises have real-world criminal intent behind them, like this latest ruling from the Korean government's corporate regulator. In a decision handed down earlier today, that governing body found mobile phone makers LG, Samsung and Pantech, in addition to operators KT, SK Telecom and LG Upius guilty of price fixing. In what's been framed as a case of consumer fraud, the OEMs reportedly inflated the associated costs of handsets, which were then marketed with supposed discounts by the colluding carriers. Collectively the group's been ordered to pony up about 45.3 billion won (or $40.2 million) in fines, with the largest of those penalties belonging to Samsung at 14.2 billion won (about $12.6 million) and SK Telecom at 20.2 billion won (about $18 million). Adding further insult to this public injury is the FTC, which has taken the extra step of imposing sales restrictions that are intended to prevent the involved parties from committing future infractions. Check out the source below for the full scoop on this corporate back-scratching.

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