SEOUL, Sept. 2 (Korea Bizwire) — The number of unfair business practices nailed by the corporate watchdog surpassed 200 in nearly five years, with close to 10 billion won in fines being slapped on them, a parliamentary report showed Sunday.
The Fair Trade Commission (FTC) caught 206 illegal business contracts between large companies and smaller subcontractors from 2014 to June 2018, according to the report submitted to the National Assembly.
The number was 40 in 2014 but rose to 71 in the following year, while 37 cases were reported each in 2016 and 2017. In the first six months of 2018, 21 unfair practices were caught.
A total of 9.58 billion won (US$8.57 million) was imposed on 40 companies accused of such unfair and unilateral practices, locally known as “gapjil.”
Hyundai Motor Co., South Korea’s top carmaker, committed 20 misconducts, the highest number, over the cited period, followed by LG with 16 cases and Lotte with 12.
In terms of penalties, KT Corp. paid 2.1 billion won in total, while POSCO had 1.6 billion won in fines and Samsung was fined 1.2 billion won.
Since his inauguration last year, FTC Chairman Kim Sang-jo has stressed that creating a level playing field for small and medium-sized companies is very important.
Earlier, the FTC vowed to carry out sweeping reforms to root out unfair business practices.