SEOUL, Sept. 12 (Korea Bizwire) – South Korea’s large retailers affiliated with family-controlled conglomerates, or chaebol, account for more than 60 percent of violations of a related law over the past five years, a report showed Wednesday.
The Fair Trade Commission (FTC), South Korea’s antitrust watchdog, detected 48 breaches of the act on fair transactions in large franchises and retail businesses between 2014 and June this year, according to the report from the office of Rep. Kim Sung-won of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party.
Violations committed by chaebol-affiliated retail companies came to 30 cases, or 62.5 percent of the total, the report based on FTC data showed.
The act bans large retailers — those with annual sales of 100 billion (US$89 million) or more and floor space of 3,000 square meters — from carrying out unfair and unilateral practices, locally known as “gapjil,” to the detriment of smaller merchants or subcontractors.
Industry leader Lotte Department Store, the flagship of Lotte Group, was the top violator with 10 cases, followed by hypermarket chain Homeplus with seven, and Hyundai Department Store and Shinsegae Department Store with four each.
Pointing out that Lotte Department Store has violated the law every year, the lawmaker called for efforts to prevent a recurrence of such violations and empower the corporate watchdog to hand out stern punishments against violators.