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South Korea: Antitrust watchdog fines 45 paper firms for price fixing

 |  June 14, 2016

The Korea Fair Trade Commission has slapped a combined fine of $88.6 million on 45 corrugated cardboard suppliers for profiteering from collaborative price rigging for seven years from 2007.

The antitrust watchdog said Monday it discovered 45 companies, including the industry’s leading Tailim Packaging Co. and Asia Paper MFG Co., collusively cut the unit cost of corrugated cardboard paper, which is the core raw material for shipping containers and cardboard boxes, and sold the final product at a fixed higher price between 2007 and 2014.

The industry has been hit with combined fines of 214.8 billion won as of February, the antitrust agency fined 12 companies 110.9 billion won on the same charge.

An unnamed official at the KFTC said that those 45 firms together command around 50 percent to90 percent of the entire market, suggesting that their price-rigging played a crucial role in determining the price of the pulp.

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