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FTC to look into problems consumers face on e-commerce platforms

The Fair Trade Commission’s main office in Sejong (Yonhap)
The Fair Trade Commission’s main office in Sejong (Yonhap)
South Korea’s Fair Trade Commission will commission a research project to determine the major problems that consumers face when they use e-commerce platforms, in an effort to seek a better understanding of the booming e-commerce sector.

According to government sources Thursday, the antitrust watchdog posted a notice on the state-run Korea ON-Line E-Procurement System on Monday, seeking bidders to carry out the project.

The FTC saw the need for systemized research on the issue as e-commerce platforms have become the main channel for e-commerce transactions.

About 40 surveys and studies have been carried out by the Korea Consumer Agency and other civic consumer organizations since 2018, but many of them centered on specific issues such as open markets, cross-border shopping or advertising.

The FTC’s research project will look at eight categories of e-commerce platforms -- open markets, app markets, delivery apps, accommodation booking apps, price comparison sites, social media, consumer-to-consumer transactions and livestreaming commerce.

It will include surveys on consumer purchasing experiences, assessing the opinions of platform operators and customers.

“There are new forms of e-commerce transactions, such as live commerce, about which we do not have much information. The research will be used to help us make the necessary revisions to e-commerce law,” an FTC official said.


By Jo He-rim (herim@heraldcorp.com)
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