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FTC rules pro baseball player contracts unfair

Posted February. 22, 2001 13:21,   


The Fair Trade Commission (FTC) ruled that regulations on contracts for pro baseball players are unfair and on Wednesday ordered the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) to correct them.

The KBO regulations have been criticized by players and fans as amounting to a form of indentured servitude.

The FTC ruling is expected to prompt other pro sports and the entertainment industry to take similar steps. However, the KBO immediately resisted the FTC ruling, vowing to file suit against it.

In a meeting of its members, the government commission gave the KBO and six pro baseball clubs 60 days to correct or delete unfair regulations.

Otherwise, the KBO president and the club owners will face prison terms of up to two years or fines of up to 150 million won.

FTC Chairman Lee Nam-Kee said, \"It is against the Fair Trade Law and the Law on Agreement Restrictions for the pro baseball teams and the KBO to restrict competition for players among teams and to insist on contracts that are unilaterally disadvantageous to players.’’

The FTC judged as unfair a system that grants free agent status only to players who have been in the league for 10 years or more.

Choi Young-Hae moneychoi@donga.com