Antitrust chief calls for measures to protect smaller firms


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South Korea’s antitrust chief called on Monday for comprehensive measures to fundamentally address lingering unfair business practices between large companies and their smaller subcontractors.

Kim Sang-jo, the chairman of the Fair Trade Commission, did not elaborate on what actions he planned to take, although the watchdog has consistently warned that big retailers would pay punitive damages of up to three times the losses incurred by smaller partners in cases of illegal business practices.

These include rejections and returns without legitimate reasons.

(Park Hyun-koo/The Korea Herald)

Some South Korean large business groups have been under fire for abusing their market dominance and exerting undue pressure on subcontractors and smaller firms.

Kim also called on officials to make their utmost efforts to root out a practice in which big companies misappropriate and use the technology and know-how of smaller firms.

South Korea has been trying to level the playing field for small and medium enterprises in a country where family-controlled conglomerates have dominated the economy for decades.

Kim said the watchdog will pursue its oversight policy on conglomerates in a way that is predictable and sustainable. (Yonhap)


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