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Firms Protest Prize Issuer Selections

Posted August. 24, 2006 03:01,   


Five companies filed a petition to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism (MCT) in late May ahead of the selection of gift certificate issuers in July 2006.

“Due to the Korea Game Development and Promotion Institute (KGDI)’s abrupt changes in selection criteria, it has become virtually impossible for newcomers to be selected as new issuers,” the petition reads.

The companies also submitted a recommendation to the MCT in early June, 2006 claiming, “The selection criteria before the revision should be applied.”

The five firms, KTH, Max Movie, Ticket to You, Korea Culture Promotion and Hyoja Construction sent the petition to Kim Myung-gon, minister of culture and tourism, on May 29, 2006.

“The KGDI altered its criteria for designating gift certificate issuers without notice on May 23, 2006 in the middle of the screening process and this made us underqualified for over six months,” said the petition, exclusively obtained by Dong-A Ilbo.

The KGDI changed its selection requirement on May 23 from “100 franchises or over” to “over 50 percent franchises in over five metropolitan cities, excluding Seoul and Gyeonggi Province, and a minimum of 10 franchises in each metropolitan city.”

In this regard, officials of the disqualified companies, which handed out the petition and the recommendation, stressed Wednesday, “The sudden change in the regulation is highly suspicious since the KDGI, which was exposed to lobbying by existing issuers, might have intentionally changed the criteria to drop new companies.”

Although the companies lodged complaints against the KDGI after the notification of disqualification, the KDGI repeatedly said, “(The KDGI) can not do anything since the decision was made based on the regulation.”

In the meantime, an official of the KDGI said, “We felt a need to strengthen the screening criteria in order to prevent companies using illicit methods from becoming gift certificate issuers. We may give or not give prior notification depending on the importance of the case.”