Friday, February 21, 2020
Internet Companies Sharply Divided over Fair Competition, Network Fees
No Agreement after 7-month-long Discussion
Internet Companies Sharply Divided over Fair Competition, Network Fees
  • By Michael Herh
  • February 12, 2020, 12:08
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The Korean Internet industry is divided over how to ensure fair competition between domestic and international Internet companies and improve the environment for using communications network. 

Although the Internet industry has discussed measures to ensure fair competition between domestic and international Internet companies and improve the environment for using communications network for a long time, it has failed to hammer out an agreement as opinions differed on key subjects.

The second Internet Win-Win Growth Council announced on Feb. 10 that it has submitted a report summing up seven-month discussions among its 42 members to the Korea Communications Commission (KCC). The members included officials from consumer and civic groups; telecommunications, media, legal and economic experts; officials from domestic and foreign companies; experts from research institutes; and government officials. The council was established in June 2019. It focused on how to ensure fair competition between domestic and overseas companies and draw up policy measures appropriate for the 5G era.


The report included the results of discussions on fair competition among domestic and overseas operators, improving the environment for Internet use, win-win cooperation in the internet ecosystem, and easing regulations on the internet and personal information sectors, and policy measures to rev up the 5G ecosystem.

"The main agendas on the improvement of related regulations among others were sharply divided," the council said. "The result report presents the pros and cons on the agendas rather than arriving at a single conclusion."

First of all, the council brought up the introduction of a domestic agent system, a temporary suspension order system, content providers (CPs)’s obligation to maintain the quality of their contents and prohibited acts in network use to CPs and the mandatory installation of domestic servers. In the field of internet use environments, it discussed guidelines on an agreement on the fair use of internet networks announced in December 2019. Council members were sharply divided in the discussion.

They also talked about the improvement of the prior consent principle, the individual and selective consent principle, the scope of third party provision, rights for a request for the suspension of processing personal information, excessive criminal penalties among other. But they failed to iron out differences.