The Korea Herald


Antitrust regulator chief nominee plans to check Google, Apple, Naver

By Shin Ji-hye

Published : Aug. 27, 2019 - 14:41

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The nominee to lead South Korea’s antitrust watchdog said she would look closely into unfair business practices related to information and communication technologies amid the emergence of online platforms and big data. 

Joh Sung-wook, the nominee for chief of South Korea’s antitrust watchdog (Yonhap) Joh Sung-wook, the nominee for chief of South Korea’s antitrust watchdog (Yonhap)

“In order to back the innovative ecosystem in line with new economic trends, such as the development of the digital economy and the growth of platform companies, antitrust authorities are required to approach the industry with a balanced perspective,” Joh Sung-wook told reporters during a press briefing Tuesday ahead of her parliamentary hearing, which may take place in September.

“As for the unfair practices of representative companies in the ICT area, including Google, Apple and Naver, we will make progress through close reviews to promote market innovation,” Joh said.

According to Joh, two types of risks coexist in the ICT industry: excessive or too little government intervention.

Excessive intervention would discourage a company from innovating, she said. On the other hand, too little intervention would make it difficult for new startups to innovate and survive.

“We will strictly regulate abuse of monopoly power but we will cautiously approach the market by not hindering market innovation,” the nominee said.

As digital issues significantly affect the Korean economy, the FTC will seek ways to improve the market structure by not dwelling on investigation and regulation of individual companies, the nominee added.

As for emerging unfair practices, such as the abuse of monopoly power using big data and algorithm collusion, the FTC plans to fine-tune enforcement of the nation’s competition laws, she said.

By Shin Ji-hye (