SEOUL, Nov. 19 (Korea Bizwire) – The amount of fines imposed on Korean companies for collusion by foreign authorities since 2010 totaled about 1.7 trillion won. According to the Korean Fair Trade Commission on November 18, the amount of fines that competition authorities of various countries imposed on Korean cartels over the past five years starting from 2010 is estimated at 1,660.5 billion won. This is 48.6 percent of the total fines Korean companies have paid for the 19 year period since 1996 (3,415.3 billion won).
For example, the U.S. anti-trust authority Federal Trade Commission levied a fine of US$32 million (37 billion won) to Samsung SDI for CDT (color display tube) price collusion in March 2011. The European Commission imposed a fine of 146 million euros (206 billion won) and 51 million euros (73 billion won), respectively, on Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix for DRAM price fixing in May 2010.
In December of the same year, the European Commission also imposed a fine of 492 million euros (332 billion won) on LG Display for unfair practices. In December 2012, LG Electronics and Samsung SDI faced a fine of 697.5 billion won and 214 billion won each due to the oligopolistic behavior in the CRT (cathode-ray tube) market.
The European Commission again in September this year charged 35.1 million euros (47 billion won) in fines to Samsung Electronics for fixing prices of semiconductor chips used in smartphones and bank cards. Since 2010, Korean Airlines was hit with penalties from Canada (6.2 billion won), Australia (6.3 billion won), and New Zealand (3.2 billion won). Samsung Display and LG Display were slapped with fines of 37.3 billion won from the Chinese government.
A Fair Trade Commission official said, “The degree of regulation on international cartels is getting more severe. Competition authorities of the world are raising fines and regulatory standards in order to strengthen the consumer protection degree.”
By M.H. Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)