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“Sanctions Against Newspapers to be Imposed Only for Mergers and Acquisitions”

“Sanctions Against Newspapers to be Imposed Only for Mergers and Acquisitions”

Posted November. 18, 2004 23:35,   


The Media Development Committee of the Grand National Party (GNP) reported to the party’s chairwoman, Park Geun-hye, on November 15 on the party’s proposal of three media-related bills, including laws on the Freedom of Newspapers, National Mainstay Broadcasting, and Press Conflict Arbitration. The GNP will decide on the proposal as a GNP platform at its general meeting of policy.

The Law on Freedom of Newspapers-

As an alternative to the past newspaper law which was presented by the Uri party, the Law on Freedom of Newspapers is highly different from the previous one in terms of its clause on market share limit. The bill imposes sanctions only when the market share of a newspaper company that merges with another newspaper company is more than 30 percent of the total market. A newspaper will not be the target of sanctions if its market share accumulates naturally.

The ruling party’s newspaper law is disadvantageous because it regulates a newspaper by naming a “market dominating business” if it has more than 30 percent market share and three companies have 60 percent of it. Also, the newspaper law doesn’t mention measuring standards for market share. However, the law on Freedom of Newspapers specifies circulation (number of issues printed) as its standard.

The newspaper law prohibits business crossover between newspapers and broadcasting, but the Law of Freedom of Newspapers allows this as long as it remains below 10 percent of the market share from these fields. The newspaper law enacted editing rules and organization of edition committees. The new law, however, leaves it to each newspaper company’s discretion.

National Mainstay Broadcasting-

Contrary to the fact that the Uri Party is willing to revise the broadcasting law, the GNP has arranged a National Mainstay Broadcasting Law for strengthening the responsibility of KBS, the public broadcasting company. The bill limits the commercial income of KBS to 20 percent of its total income as a precondition to pragmatize its receiving fee. Also, the bill enables the National Assembly to carry the deliberation on KBS’s budget and closing amount, whose slack operation is pointed out by the Assembly’s inspection every year.

Seung-Heon Lee ddr@donga.com