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S. Korea's regulator to probe unfair biz activity by online platforms Naver, Kakao
South Korea's antitrust regulator will closely inspect unfair business activity by online platform giants Naver Corp. and Kakao Corp. amid their increased market dominance.
There are increasing concerns that the online platform operators have abused their dominant market status and engaged in unfair business practices that threaten small businesses.
Joh Sung-wook, chief of the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC), said that while consumers are given new opportunities for market access, damage due to unfair business activity is on the rise.
The KFTC is investigating alleged unjust business practices by leading taxi-hailing firm Kakao Mobility Corp., and e-commerce giant Coupang.
Groups of taxi firms alleged that Kakao Mobility deliberately prioritizes affiliated taxis.
Meanwhile, there are allegations that Coupang abused its search algorithms to place its own brands on the top of its website and mobile platform, and that it pressed suppliers to lower the prices of its goods than its rivals.
The KFTC had also submitted to parliament a bill designed to penalize unfair business practices by online platform operators. Consequently, the ruling Democratic Party is aiming to regulate unfair business practices by mainstream platform giants.
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