The Korea Fair Trade Commission has issued class-action lawsuits against 21 international cartels regarding the price fixing of foreign freight. The lawsuits were formally judged by the Korea Competition Authorization and marks the first time in Korea that a consumer group has instigated a class-action lawsuit.
The representing lawyer, Lee Dae-soon said, “The level of disciplinary action was lower than expected, as the KFTA (Korea Fair Trade Commission) reduced the penalty for carriers who voluntary reported price fixing,” adding, “Cargo companies were seriously damaged by this price fixing, and therefore groups such as KITA’s (Korea International Trade Association) ‘Shipping association’ are planning to issue a damage suit against carriers as well as pushing ahead for joint action with other KITA affiliated associations.” The KFTA announced, “Compensation for price fixing is a legal mechanism which reduces harm to consumers,” adding, “We are planning to deliver all information from the investigation regarding price fixing to prosecutors.”
However, the legal outcome is far from certain since the class-action policy has been only approved in financial fields. Other fields of class-action policy do not yet exist, meaning the judgment of the court will be watched with great anticipation.