[WORD_ON_THE_WEB] 'They’ll realize the truth when taxi fares go up'

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[WORD_ON_THE_WEB] 'They’ll realize the truth when taxi fares go up'

Kakao and its labor union are clashing over the sale of a stake in Kakao Mobility. The parent company is planning to sell around 10 percent of Kakao Mobility to MBK Partners, a private equity fund company. 
The labor union criticized the decision, saying the company has failed to fulfill its social responsibilities. The union says that Kakao is trying to offload its majority stake in Kakao Mobility.
“That we are selling a considerable stake of Kakao Mobility is a groundless rumor," Bae Jae-hyun, Kakao's chief investment officer. "We haven’t even talked about it. We are now reviewing a plan to turn Kakao into the second largest shareholder by selling between 10 and 19 percent of the company.”
However, the union argues that the sale will increase the economic burden on consumers as the acquiring firm will focus only on creating more profit.
The issue is especially controversial because of the political background surrounding the mobility industry in Korea. Back in 2018, Tada, a mobility platform company, launched a service where they provided rented vehicles and drivers to users. After significant lobbying from the taxi industry, the National Assembly passed a bill that outlawed Tada’s services. After the legislation passed, innovation in the transportation market has ground to a halt.
“When they sell the shares to the private equity fund company, they will probably try to take more commission.”
“They’ll realize the truth only after taxi fares go up and getting a taxi gets harder.”
“Do you expect a company to do their business with a deficit? Kakao is not a social enterprise.”
“Generating profit is their priority. It’s not run by the government as well. Stop talking about social responsibility.”  
“They said they would maintain social responsibility during the inspection at the National Assembly. And now they sell it?”
“If they know what social responsibility means, they must not do business in a way that breaks others’ backs.”

BY HWANG JAE-YOUNG, BY HAN HYE-RIM [han.hyerim1@joongang.co.kr]
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