KT subject to tighter regulations

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KT subject to tighter regulations

KT Corp., Korea’s largest telecommunications operator by sales, was named a “major supplier’’ of high-speed Internet access, in a move some analysts said tightened the government’s grip on the local telecommunications industry. The designation means KT, which accounted for 55 percent of the nation’s high-speed Internet market last year, will have to get government approval when setting broadband rates, the Ministry of Information and Communication said in a statement yesterday. The government stepped up its regulation over KT to protect the industry from excessive competition, the ministry said. For investors, undermining KT’s ability to set rates helps show the extent of Korea’s regulatory risks and how the government’s control of the telecommunications industry is the tightest among industrialized countries, analysts such as Stan Jung said. Korea regulates telecom rates more than any other Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development member country, he said. KT joins SK Telecom Co., Korea’s largest mobile-phone operator, in being called a “major supplier” by the government. The designation was “regretful,” KT said in a statement.

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