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FTC Starts Self-Initiated Investigation

Posted May. 12, 2004 22:40,   


The Fair Trade Commission (FTC) started its self-initiated investigation into an unfair trade in the newspaper industry.

The FTC announced on Wednesday that it would investigate six national and several local daily newspapers over their unfair business practices, such as premium offering to general public.

Donga, Chosun, JoongAng, Hankook, Segye Times, Kyunghyang and several local newspapers, which are reported to have violated the FTC Newspaper Notification at least once, will be under the investigation that will last until June 5.

Branch offices that will be looked into will be 159 in the capital and local areas -- 90 branch offices of six newspapers in the metropolitan area, 54 offices appointed by Busan, Daegu, Gwangju and Daejeon FTC regional offices, and 15 offices that have been reported but not investigated.

The FTC will probe the violation of the notification by these branches, and it will consider whether the head offices funded the excessive sales promotion.

“It is FTC’s first self-initiated investigation and is intended to see the actual condition of the newspaper industry,” said Heo Seon, a director of FTC. “The result of the investigation is expected to come out July or August, and measures will be taken according to their offenses, such as the penalty.”

FTC director Jeon Sin-gi said, “This time we will only look into the unfair business practices of branch offices, not the head offices.”

Apart from the investigation, the FTC will come up with comprehensive measures over the newspaper industry in line with the first anniversary of the revision of the Newspaper Notification on May 27.

Some, however, question the motive of the FTC’s first self-initiated investigation as the ruling Uri Party is voicing for the media reform recently.

Chi-Young Shin higgledy@donga.com