FTC to issue mobile app for its product reviews

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FTC to issue mobile app for its product reviews

The Fair Trade Commission will continue to inspect online shopping malls in the second half of the year and plans to release a mobile app for its online products review report.

Korea’s antitrust watchdog made the announcement at a press briefing yesterday.

The commission also said it will continue to monitor large retail companies to ensure that they do not overcharge small manufacturers.

“We are set to finish what we started early this year,” said Jung Jae-chan, vice chairman of the FTC.

He said the commission is nearly finished sorting out which online companies are frequent violators of the fair trade and will be more focused on fixing the problems that have been discovered.

The FTC is scheduled to renew the fair trade agreement with eBay Korea in September and will push to complete a fair trade agreement in December with Naver, a shopping platform that supports Shop N, a site where individuals can post and bid on items.

K-Consumer Reports, which was introduced in March, will be updated at least twice a month. So far, five reports have been released on products including variable annuities and hiking shoes.

In the third quarter, the commission plans to evaluate coffee shops, sunscreen, batteries, dishwashing soap and dishwashers.

In the fourth quarter, it will review digital TVs, vacuum cleaners and electric heating pads.

“To gain credibility, the commission will allocate more funds so we can review as more products to have as thorough a report as possible,” said Jung.

And more money also could support reviews of higher priced products, he added. It costs about 20 million won ($17,480) to research and produce one report.

He did not specify how much additional money would be allocated.

To make the report more accessible to consumers, the commission is also considering changing the name to Korean.

“After we received comments that it sounds too much like a copycat of the consumer report in the United States, we are trying to come up with a unique name, hopefully a Korean word,” said an official at the FTC.

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

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