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South Korea: First birthday for the KFTC bureau

 |  September 10, 2018

The Korean Fair Trade Commission’s (KFTC) Business Group Bureau celebrates its first anniversary this month. In just its first year, the Bureau has collected fines of over 40 billion won (US$35.46 million) on conglomerates and turned over 13 people to the prosecution.

The Bureau focuses mainly on antitrust acts, such as illegal allocation of business to family-owned companies by chaebol. It was first created by the KFTC chairman and former civic activist Kim Sang-jo on September 22, 2017, frequently cited as especially adversarial to the large, family owned conglomerates.

The Bureau’s first achievement was hitting Hite Jinro with a fine for illegal deals with Park Tae-young, a third-generation member of the alcohol manufacturer’s founding family.

But the Bureau’s work hasn’t always focused on investigating the illegal activities committed by the conglomerate and its founding families. It also worked to improve past practices.

It has encouraged conglomerates to reform their governance structure, including cross-shareholding.

Full Content: Korea Joongang Daily

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