The Korean Fair Trade Commission has used its powers to fine billion dollar company LG a huge fine of… $74,300 (85 million won).
The paltry penalty, for obstructing the FTC investigation into claims of unfair pricing practices in March, is sure to make the billion dollar company quake in its boots.
LG has also been reprimanded for secretly moving its memory drives when investigators demanded that the door be opened.
Another manager at the company has also been accused of deleting files on his external drive after FTC agents ordered him not to do so, the Joongang Daily reported.
The watchdog began investigating the company after smaller retailers asked it to check if the company was providing its products at different prices.
However, many will be unimpressed at its lack of backbone issuing such a small fine.
Earlier this week critics hit out at the watchdog for being “too lenient” and this latest incident isn’t compelling evidence to the contrary.
LG has somewhat become a favourite with the watchdog. In 2009 LG was let off the hook when it was investigated and found guilty of fixing the prices of home appliances between 2008 and 2009.
Critics claimed that the regulator’s leniency program meant that LG was exempted from the fine of $16 million (18.83 billion won).
Up until 2000, the FTC filed a complaint against two percent of the total cases detected.
However, this figure had dropped to 0.95 percent over the past 10 years even though the annual number of cases the agency handled had increased five- to six-fold during the same period.
Of the 3,505 cases the FTC detected in 2010, the agency filed a complaint in only 19 cases. In 1,763 cases, the agency ended up issuing a warning.