FTC adjusts violation fines

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FTC adjusts violation fines

The Fair Trade Commission will reduce fines up to 50 percent on companies that voluntarily correct their unfair trade practices.

But it will also increase fines for companies caught violating the law in the future.

“We’ve received some comments that imposing a fine does not greatly contribute to restoring fair competition in a market that has been damaged,” said Park Guk-yeon of the commission’s public relations team. “So, the revision of the regulations came in a bid to return the benefit to consumers directly.” The reduced penalties will start tomorrow.

The commission will also order heavier fines on companies that violate the fair trade law. Companies that are caught will be fined 2 percent of the sales involved in the case, up from the current 1 percent.

When a company in a monopoly situation abuses its status to control the price, the penalty will now be 3 percent of the related sales, up from the current 2 percent.

Repeat offenders will get additional punishment. If caught more than three times, the punishment will be raised 20 percent. If caught five times, it will be raised 50 percent.

When companies do not cooperate with an FTC investigation using violence, the fine will be raised 40 percent.

By Lee Sun-min [summerlee@joongang.co.kr]

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