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FTC focusing more on self-initiated probes

All News 16:07 April 10, 2017

SEOUL, April 10 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's antitrust watchdog said Monday it has been thoroughly screening allegations of business wrongdoing to make sure it allocates its resources more efficiently, especially toward self-initiated probes that generally tackle more serious violations.

"We have been more thoroughly screening complaints to see if they actually merit closer attention," a Fair Trade Commission (FTC) official said. He said actual probes will only be launched after the screening process.

In the past, the corporate regulator assigned investigators to cases that should have been checked in advance. He said that the 2015 revision to relevant regulations has allowed the antitrust body more leeway in assigning its limited manpower to critical issues.

In 2016, the FTC received 1,650 reports or tips, down 551 from 2,201 the previous year, according to the FTC statistics obtained by Rep. Park Yong-jin of the main opposition Democratic Party.

The number of cases that FTC investigated on its own initiative, meanwhile, rose to 2,152 last year from 1,848 the previous year.

The watchdog took steps to check 212 cases of potential violations of public notices and other established rules last year. The figure is more than double that tallied for the previous year.

The number of investigations into electronic commerce law violations also surged sharply to 329 last year from 156 the previous year.


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