The South Korean government is mulling rewriting the Consumer Basic Act to strengthen consumer protection against unfair practices by multinational companies.
The Fair Trade Commission (FTC) recently outsourced a study on how other state authorities in the United States, European nations and Japan crack down on unfair market practices by foreign entities. In detail, the FTC asked to look into specific regulation guidelines for different wrongdoings and range of fines of each country.
In particular, the watchdog consigned a case study for Apple’s iPhone battery fiasco called ‘battery gate’ where the world’s third largest smartphone maker intentionally slowed down performance of older models, and Facebook’s personal data leak.
Consumers have increasingly fallen victim to new types of unilateral servicing by multinational companies expanding their presence voraciously in the world, but the FTC has failed to deal with the issues properly due to loopholes in the law.
The Basic Act on Consumers that was adopted in 1980 as Consumer Protection Law requires companies who commit unfair practices to receive administrative order from the government and pay fines. Punitive actions had been rare.
The FTC plans to modify consumer protection acts to aggressively tackle business wrongdoings that violate consumer rights in reference to the results of the wide-ranging study.
By Yoon Jin-ho and Choi Mira
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