Fair Trade Commission steps up scrutiny of IT industry

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Fair Trade Commission steps up scrutiny of IT industry

The Fair Trade Commission is expanding its inspection of unfair trade practices in the country’s IT industry as it raided the Seoul-based office of Daum Communications, the No. 2 portal Web site. The FTC’s move follows its inspection of the nation’s largest portal site earlier this month. According to the portal industry, FTC officials visited the Daum office in Hannam-dong, central Seoul, saying they were investigating whether the company abused its dominant position in the portal market to reap profits in violation of fair trade law.

Daum was also under inspection in 2007 on allegations that it demanded unfair contract terms from its subcontractors, but the allegations turned out to be wrong.

There are rumors now that Nate, the third-largest market player, might also be put under FTC inspection for similar reasons. Under its “economic democratization” initiative, the Park Geun-hye government and its antitrust agency are expected to continue scrutinizing dominant players in various markets.

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