S. Korea’s antitrust regulator to launch e-commerce market study

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Seoul, March 25 (IANS) South Korea’s antitrust regulator, on Monday, said that it will launch a study into the e-commerce sector to analyse the market structure and check competition issues as part of efforts to ensure fair business practices amid a growing number of online shopping consumers.

The Fair Trade Commission (FTC) said that the four-week preliminary market research will begin from Tuesday to collect opinions from stakeholders and relevant associations, as well as from consumers, and to review similar research conducted by the European Union, Britain and Australia, Yonhap news agency reported.

The regulator will then set details of research subjects and methods, and carry out an inquiry into major e-commerce operators at home and abroad for issuing a report by the end of this year.

“The e-commerce market is closely linked to the everyday lives of people, and the market and business circumstances are changing fast so that in-depth analysis is needed,” the FTC said.

“The growing dependence on a handful of operators has raised concerns about the fairness of business practices and the possibility of consumer damage. Such an in-depth market study will help us devise preemptive responses to competition and innovation issues,” it added.

The value of online shopping transactions has risen recently from 190.2 trillion won ($141.61 billion) in 2021 to 209.9 trillion won in 2022, and further to over 227.3 trillion won last year, the report said.



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