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September 25, 2017

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Three cable content providers fined NT$126 mil.

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Three of Taiwan's leading cable content providers received the largest fine in the history of the nation's cable TV industry on Wednesday, according to the Fair Trade Commission.

Kbro (凱擘股份有限公司), Universal (全球數位媒體股份有限公司) and Chia-hsun (佳訊視聽股份有限公司) were fined a total of NT$126 million for discriminative practices, according to a statement released by the Fair Trade Commission.

According to the commission, the content providers had charged newly emerging cable companies with higher broadcast authorization rates when compared to rates for major providers.

The fee content providers charge cable operators for broadcast permission is based on the number of an operator's subscribers. The more subscribers an operator has, the higher the fee is.

According to the commission, in 2016, the three content providers charged the emerging cable companies — most of which only began broadcasting in 2015 — a rate that assumed the companies were broadcasting to 15 percent of the total number of cable users within a service area. However, according to statistics compiled by the commission, the cable companies' actual number of subscribers amounted to substantially less than 15 percent of the total number of cable users in a service area, because one service area is often served by several cable companies.

Furthermore, the three content companies gave their older cable company clients preferential deals by calculating their broadcast license fees based on the number of actual subscribers.

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