Korea Telecom has filed a formal complaint against rival LG Uplus, accusing it of illegally adding subscribers during a suspension from attracting new customers.
KT submitted a report to regulator KCC, outlining allegations it has been adding subscribers “through illegal means” despite the suspension, Yonhap Newsreported.
KCC ordered LG Uplus to stop adding new subscribers for 24 days starting on Monday, as a punishment for allegedly offering excessive handset subsidies beyond South Korea's legal limits of 270,000 won ($254) per device.
The regulator also ordered a 22 day suspension for SK Telecom and 20 days for KT, and fined all three a combined 11.89 billion won ($11.2 million).
LG Uplus has stated that it has banned retailers from illegally taking subscriptions during the suspension, but has accused KT of “exaggerat[ing] the situation.”
KCC first introduced the subsidy cap in 2010 as part of a crackdown on promotions spending, in a bid to curb a protracted and potentially self-destructive price war between the three mobile operators.
This is not the first time South Korean mobile operators have accused their rivals of breeching rules and regulations to gain an edge – in June last year, SK Telecom asked the regulator to investigate both its rivals for allegedly offering subsidies as high as 700,000 won.