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South Korea: KFTC reviews Google and Facebook’s market dominance

 |  June 25, 2017

The Korean Fair Trade Commission (KFTC), under the new leadership of former civic activist Kim Sang-jo, seems to be targeting major global IT companies – Google and Facebook – in regard to collecting information that are considered key elements of the so-called fourth industrial revolution technologies.

In his interview with Yonhap, Kim said the antitrust agency is “reviewing” whether there has been any monopolizing of information or violation of related antitrust regulations using the companies’ dominant influence in the market.

“The networks are installed through [Korean] taxpayer’s money but they are sweeping the information without paying the cost,” Kim told Yonhap.

The KFTC Chairman said in the case of fourth industrial revolution technologies – big data, cloud storage system, Internet-of-Things and artificial intelligence – network effects, where demands for certain goods and services increase with more people using them, play a pivotal role.

As a result, he said, once companies take the lead, late comers have difficulty in entering the market, which deters fair competition.

Kim said it is the KFTC’s role not only to reform the conglomerate-reliant economic structure, but also to create the basic market structure for new future industries. This is not the first time that Google has been investigated by the Korean antitrust agency.

Full Content: Yohanp News Agency

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