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FTC seeks to refer CJ food unit to prosecutors over unfair business practices

All News 14:03 October 05, 2016

SEJONG, Oct. 5 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's anti-trust watchdog has tentatively decided to impose a fine on CJ Cheiljedang Corp., the food subsidiary of CJ Group, for alleged obstruction of sale of its products at cheap prices by online retailers.

The Fair Trade Commission also plans to refer the food giant to the prosecution for further investigation, people familiar with the issue said.

CJ Cheiljedang is accused of hindering online retailers from selling its food products at lower prices and of stopping distribution of its products to those online retailers, which were confirmed to have sold products at cheap prices.

The food unit also has received written commitments from online retailers that sell cheaper products that they will not sell CJ food products at lower prices.

The FTC said that CJ Cheiljedang violated fair trade laws. The watchdog plans to hold a meeting next month to hear CJ Cheiljedang's opinion on the case before making a final decision, according to the people.

A FTC spokesman declined to comment on the issue, citing the probe is under way.

An official of CJ Cheiljedang said she had no immediate comment.

Last month, the FTC imposed a fine of 7.17 billion won (US$6.5 million) on CJ CGV, the country's largest cinema chain run by CJ Group, for awarding a lucrative deal to its affiliate headed by the younger brother of CJ Group Chairman Lee Jay-hyun.

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