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K-pop merchandise sellers fined

July 25,2019
K-pop fans should be wary of online merchandise purchases as Korea’s corporate regulator found violations of online commercial laws, such as misleading refund policies, in their sale.

The Fair Trade Commission (FTC) said Wednesday that it fined eight K-pop merchandise companies, including Compact.D, which sells BTS merchandise, and YG Plus, a subsidiary under YG Entertainment, a total of 31 million won ($26,300) for violating online transaction laws.

K-pop merchandise includes a variety of products, from t-shirts to accessories, largely targeting young consumers who are fans of such groups.

The regulator said that the violations included failure to disclose required product information and refund or return policies.

For example, YG Plus only included information for product exchanges on its online product sales page, and did not include refund or return information.

All the companies, excluding Compact.D, also failed to include mandatory sales clauses that allow guardians of minors to cancel purchases.

Under Korean law, guardians are able to cancel purchases made by minors if they do not agree with the sales contract, and online shopping malls are required to disclose that fact.

The companies also posted misleading information on conditions for refunds, such as cancellation periods shorter than the minimum required.

According to the regulator, three companies, including Compact.D, have shut their online shopping malls after the FTC started investigating.

The FTC said it expects its measures to prevent further violations.

BY CHAE YUN-HWAN [chae.yunhwan@joongang.co.kr]


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