Lotte Homeshopping Inc., the TV channel of retail giant Lotte, was ordered on Friday to suspend its six-hour prime time broadcasting for six months starting from late September.
The Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning imposed the heavy administrative measure on the nation's No. 3 home shopping channel for submitting false documents to renew its business license.
The ministry said Lotte Homeshopping intentionally cut the number of executives and employees implicated in bribery to renew its channel license for another three years in April 2015, which was discovered by state auditors in February.
With the order, the home shopping channel cannot air shows from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m., the peak hours that generate about half of its revenue.
The suspension is expected to deal a heavy blow to Lotte Homeshopping, which expected 1.2 trillion won ($1.01 billion) in sales and 81.4 billion in operating profit in the last six months of this year.
Last year, the home shopping channel logged 3.1 trillion won in sales.
Lotte said the measure will also negatively affect its employees and subcontractors, saying it will ask the government to review the case to guarantee their job security.
"The suspension would inevitably lead to a massive operating loss and also hit the employment of subcontractors, which are mostly small and mid- sized firms. We will ask the government for leniency," an official at Lotte Homeshopping said. (Yonhap)