We Want 52.3% Market Share, No More, No Less

Leading South Korean mobile operator SK Telecom’s CEO said today that his company won’t let itself get more than 52.3% of the country’s mobile subscribers in order to avoid further government regulations on its operations. SK, which held 51.2% of the market at the end of May, sold its handset-manufacturing business a few months back under regulatory pressure, has been fined for paying illegal handset subsidies and has operated under other restrictions designed to give its smaller rivals an advantage. For instance, SK customers wanting to switch to a competitor are allowed to take their number with them, but users switching to SK can’t. The market-share cap announced today seems to be an odd twist on the free market, where a company decides exactly what slice of the market it will serve, and makes us wonder how, exactly, will they limit share — just by turning away customers?

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