Korea’s Antitrust Bill To Regulate Online Platforms In Trouble

A bill from South Korea’s antitrust regulator aimed to govern dominant e-commerce platforms is still pending in the National Assembly due to a tug of war between two government bodies, the Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) and the Korea Communications Commission, reported The Korean Times.

In the meantime, platform operators and local customers have been raising their concerns, viewing the regulatory move as excessive market intervention.

A survey conducted by Korea Startup Forum showed Monday, February 22, that around 61% of respondents were against the government’s new restrictions on companies that operate as e-commerce platforms, particularly those that provide delivery services such as Coupang. Only 26.2% of survey participants said that they support the government’s new regulation.

The bill, drafted by the country’s antitrust watchdog in September last year, aims to prevent unfair trade practices in the e-commerce platform sector.

The KFTC stated the new bill was designed to limit abuses of market power in the e-commerce industry and prevent contract issues that could jeopardize local small and mid-sized enterprises.

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