Tobacco’s oligopoly questioned

| April 18, 2016

South Korea’s Fair Trade Commission (FTC) has said that it will review the government’s regulations on the nation’s tobacco, beer and whiskey markets, which it sees as being dominated by a small number of players, according to a story in The Korea Times.

An FTC official said yesterday that, based on market concentration research in 2013, tobacco, beer and whiskey companies in Korea enjoyed high net value returns in sales but spent too little on R&D, raising concerns about their competitiveness and consumers’ rights.

“The government should consider competition-increasing policies in those markets,” the official said.

The FTC is expected to study the nation’s beer market firstly so as to find out how to promote competition among beer companies.

“The FTC will look into current trends and import data in the market this year and then it will come up with solutions,” said the official.

“The FTC will do the same with the tobacco and then whiskey markets.”

The research suggested that a total of 56 markets in Korea – including the tobacco market – had an oligopolistic structure.

Category: Breaking News

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