As President Park Geun-hye pushes to promote fair competition as part of her so-called "economic democratization,"
Korea's number one internet company, Naver, has been coming under fire for allegedly abusing its power.
Yoo Li-an reports. This service called "Memo This" allows users to stick a memo on any website.
Take, for instance, this YouTube page that shows an ad for Apple's iPhone; a user can post a video of Samsung's Galaxy
ad as a memo right next to it,.. so when other Memo This users visit the page, they can directly compare the two.
The startup company that developed this service says they got off to a good start in 2009 after acquiring a number of
But Naver, Korea's major portal website, shut down the service on its website back in 2011, saying only that it disrupted
Naver's business model.
And ever since, the company has been posting about a 9-thousand dollar each month.
"There's no point in coming up with an innovative service if there's no way to reach the consumers. We've been stripped
of our chance to compete fairly."
Naver can have this effect on companies, because of its dominance over the web in Korea.
Ever since Naver operator NHN was established back in 1999, the company has grown at an exponential speed, with
annual profits spiking to over two billion U.S. dollars last year. Naver now holds over 70 percent of the search engine
marketshare in the country. .
But lately, the company has become the center of public scrutiny, after being accused of abusing its power.
Under President Park Geun-hye's drive to foster a fairer business environment for smaller businesses, the Fair Trade
Commission launched an investigation into Naver for anti-competitive practices, and the ruling Saenuri Party is to
introduce a regulation law for Naver next month.
"NHN declined repeated requests for an interview,… only reiterating what CEO Kim Sang-hun said earlier this week. He
vowed to continue to work closely with related government officials,.. but also said he hopes the government does not
rush to create regulations that could limit the company from competing globally.
Yoo Li-an, Arirang News."