FTC announces $18.8 million in fines against nine insurers

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FTC announces $18.8 million in fines against nine insurers

The Fair Trade Commission imposed a total of 20.1 billion won ($18.8 million) in fines on nine life insurers for colluding to set commission fees.

The FTC accused Samsung Life Insurance, Kyobo Life Insurance, Shinhan Life Insurance, Hanwha Life Insurance and MetLife.

According to its investigation, the insurers conspired to set charges for guaranteed minimum death benefits and accumulation benefits at 0.1 percent in 2001 and 2002.

They also colluded to fix the charge for special account management at 1 percent in 2005. Samsung, Hanwha and Kyobo were involved in all three collusions.

Samsung was slapped with a 7.39 billion won fine, the largest. The antitrust agency said commission charges should be determined by a fair competition in the market. Collusion by the insurers limited consumers’ choices, the FTC said.

Variable insurance is so complicated that consumers can easily be deceived, it added.

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