This image, provided by Yonhap News TV, shows the exterior of the Korea Fair Trade Commission in the central administrative city of Sejong. (Yonhap)
South Korea's antitrust regulator said Tuesday it has decided to fine leading beverage maker Lotte Chilsung Beverage Co. and its wine-selling affiliate a combined 1.1 billion won ($978,000) for hampering market competition.
Lotte Chilsung unfairly supported its wholly owned unit MJA Wine for 10 years since 2009 in a bid to improve the affiliate's profitability, according to the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC).
Lotte Chilsung supplied wines to its affiliate at lower prices and shouldered labor costs that MJA Wine should have paid.
The value of economic benefits provided to the wine retailer reached 3.5 billion won, and Lotte's support helped MJA Wine maintain its No. 2 market status despite its worsening financial health.
The KFTC said it will refer the case to the prosecution and ordered Lotte Chilsung to take corrective measures. (Yonhap)