The Fair Trade Commission took more punitive actions against anti-trust law violators in 2017 over the previous year, its data showed Monday.
The data, submitted to ruling party legislator Park Yong-jin, indicated that the commission received 3,037 petitions last year and took administrative action on 2,877 of them. The corporate watchdog has six different levels of punitive measures, ranging between warning at the lowest level and punitive penalty fees and referral to the prosecution at the two highest.
The commission last year decided to take 67 cases to the prosecution, 10 more than the previous year, according to the data.
Twenty-seven of the cases had to do with collusive practice.
Punitive fines were ordered in 147 cases, accounting for 5.2 percent of the total and up from 111 the previous year. Again, collusive practice accounted for the highest number, with 52.
The commission issued warnings in 1,573 cases, 54.7 percent of the total, and dismissed 261 cases.
Kim Sang-jo, who has roots in civic activism for corporate reforms, took office as FTC chairman in June last year.
"There have been criticisms in the past that the benefits of legal violations are bigger than punishment because the fines were just a 'slap on the wrist,'" an FTC official said. "This appears to have improved under Chairman Kim." (Yonhap)