SEJONG, May 27 (Yonhap) — South Korea’s antitrust regulator said Wednesday it fined Mirae Asset Financial Group, a major financial conglomerate, 4.39 billion won (US$3.56 million) for unfair business practices.
Mirae Asset has been accused of allegedly awarding contracts to its affiliates, allowing them to pocket profits, the Fair Trade Commission (FTC) said.
The unfair intra-affiliate trading was worth some 43 billion won, the FTC said.
But the FTC decided not to refer Mirae Asset Chairman Park Hyeon-joo to prosecutors for further investigation.’
Between 2015 and 2017, 11 affiliates of Mirae Asset Group had given the contracts to the group’s unlisted consulting unit, which is owned by Park and his family members, the FTC said in a statement.
At that time, the consulting unit operated Four Seasons Hotel in central Seoul and the Blue Mountain golf club.
The FTC said the contracts helped the hotel and the golf club generate more revenue.
Helped by the intra-affiliate trading, the golf club returned to the black in 2016, and the hotel’s sales jumped to 110 billion won in 2017, compared with 17.6 billion won in 2014, the FTC said.