South Korea’s Fair Trade Commission has issued a $31.9 million fine to a network of 32 pharmaceutical firms amid allegations of market collusion in the production, distribution, and wholesale of vaccines in the national immunization program.
“This decision represents a further step taken in the fight against cartels and improper agreements,” said KFT Com’r KONG Sung-mo. Cong. Shim Jong-gil, leader of the Democracy and Peace Party, commented.
“This is a sign that South Korea is willing to strengthen its competitiveness and accountability within the international market.” The Fair Trade Commission will continue to monitor the market for any anti-competitive behavior.
According to the Korean antitrust regulator’s investigation, the companies engaged in collusive business activities in a total of 170 vaccine procurement bids carried out by the Public Procurement Service between 2013 and 2019. The 170 bids were worth around 700 billion won in total, the FTC added.
Source: Korea Herald