‘Vindictive’ South Korean FTC targets Apple, others

“The Fair Trade Commission (FTC) is accused of being biased and vindictive toward foreign companies, making them reluctant to invest more in Korea,” Park Si-soo reports for The Korea Times. “Executives from foreign investment companies argue that the regulator often appears to have reached its own conclusions before it begins any investigations. They feel that FTC probes are not balanced and end up stigmatizing non-Korean firms as ‘villains,’ thus reshaping the industrial ecosystem to give more benefits to ‘homegrown’ enterprises. Information technology companies with great influence on the domestic market are most vulnerable to such practices, they said.”

“These complaints flared up after President Park Geun-hye pressed state bodies, including the FTC, to come up with ways of attracting as much direct foreign investment (FDI) as possible in a bid to revitalize the sagging economy. The government aims to draw $20 billion this year, up 5.3 percent from last year’s $19 billion,” Park reports. “‘Whether the government is consistent and balanced in applying rules is one of the most important factors we consider ahead of making a decision on investment,’ said a foreign investment company executive. ‘Sadly, Korea doesn’t get a high score in this category.’ She asked not to be identified because of fear of retribution against her firm by the FTC.”

In a survey of 201 foreign investment companies in Korea last year, 33 percent of them cited ‘inconsistent state policy’ as the primary reason for being hesitant to make new investment in Korea, said the Korea Chamber of Commerce that conducted the survey. In another survey released last year at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Korea was ranked 133rd out of 144 countries in the category of transparency within government decision-making,” Park reports. “The FTC recently said it would tighten monitoring of global IT giants throughout this year, apparently targeting Google, Apple and Facebook, to stave off their possible abuse of power using their dominant position in the market. To that end, the regulator set up a special task force dedicated to the ICT sector comprising experts and veteran investigators.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: South Korea makes China look uncorrupted.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “Edward W.” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Tax evasion, bribery and price-fixing: How Samsung became the giant that ate South Korea – April 22, 2013
South Korea, the Republic of Samsung – December 10, 2012
Welcome to South Korea, the ‘Republic of Forgery’ – September 11, 2012


    1. Yeah. China is moving toward requiring foreign vendors to open up source code so they ostensibly can see that it doesn’t compromise their banking system.

      You can bet that source code is going to head right into China’s People’s Liberation Army hacking group and eventually to companies that want to duplicate US & EU company’s products.

  1. yeah this is the thing foreigners don’t get, It’s the same in most asian countries, They don’t want outside competition or products. Japan is the worst. The will not allow western stuff in that’ll compete with their own products. They will make up laws or regulations on what’s safe to eat. But it’s totally ok for anyone to sell products here. THIS IS The Thing that I don’t get, WHY THE HELL Does Congress allow this to happen and not tax them or issue fair trade regulations on them?? Totally Ridiculous, They make money off of us but it’s not ok if we do them. WE NEED TO TAX ALL IMPORTS!

      1. Its was tried, but they couldn’t find any buyers willing to pay import taxes. Then they tried the dooty-free shops, but found our politicians couldn’t qualify.

      2. Remember when our beef was banned by other countries due to Mad Cow Disease. Well, our politicians would be banned from other countries due to Mad Asshole Disease.

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