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Japan: Regulator says 4-year smartphone plans pose antitrust problems

 |  July 2, 2018

Japan’s antitrust watchdog said Thursday that four-year installment smartphone payment plans provided by KDDI and SoftBank Group pose antitrust problems.

In a report issued last week, the antitrust watchdog took issue with four-year smartphone plans that let users trade in for an update after two years, waiving the remaining installments for the old device and starting a new four-year deal.

But customers who want to keep their phone beyond two years can actually end up paying more when accounting for both the device and service.

These restrictive contracts “virtually deprive consumers of their right to choose by discouraging them from changing plans,” the report said.

This type of plan appeared in response to the previous FTC report that warned about restrictive contracts in the smartphone market in August 2016.

Full Content: Asian Review

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