Following last year, the heads of major domestic platform companies were also selected as witnesses in this year’s national audit. As the platform company’s status rises, it is expected that the service fee issue, fairness controversy, and social responsibility will be intensively investigated. In addition, the necessity of legislation to regulate platform companies is also expected to be questioned.
According to the National Assembly on the 28th, the Political Affairs Committee, the Industry, Trade, and Resources Small and Medium Venture Business Committee, the Health and Welfare Committee, and the Environment and Labor Committee have selected the CEOs and senior executives of Kakao, Naver, Coupang, and Woowa Brothers as witnesses. These companies received a summons request this year as well as last year and became regular customers of the National Supervisory Service.
In particular, the new heads of Naver and Kakao will each make their national debut. The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy plans to call Naver CEO Soo-yeon Choi to the National Inspection Service of the Ministry of SMEs and Startups and the Korean Intellectual Property Office, scheduled for the 6th of next month, to hear about the status of Naver Pay and various services. As Kakao representatives Nam Goong-hoon and Hong Seung-taek were selected as witnesses of the Fair Trade Commission under the Political Affairs Committee to be held on the 7th of next month, they were asked about the refund of ‘KakaoTalk Gift’ and the appropriateness of the online ecosystem support project.
The Woowa Brothers, who service ‘Baedal Minjok (Baemin)’, were selected as witnesses by the Politics Committee, Industrial Self-Defense Committee, and Hwannowi Committee. The delivery app platform and restaurant owners are expected to receive intensive inquiries about the win-win cooperation plan, industrial accident-related handling plan, multi-level subcontracting and delayed payment of subcontract payments. Coupang was also adopted as a witness by the Welfare Committee and the Labor and Labor Committee, and lawmakers are expected to intensively investigate matters such as the distribution of unauthorized self-diagnosis kits, employment and work environment improvement.
Last year, platform monopolies, such as infringement of alley commercial rights, rose to the top of the board for these platform companies. This year, the similar frame, ‘Gapjil’, is highly likely to rise again. In particular, as the opposition party pointed to the ‘On-play Act’ as a livelihood bill that must be passed at this regular National Assembly, it came into conflict with the current government’s ‘self-regulation’ policy. As a result, the possibility of a ‘roaring national sensation’ between the ruling and opposition parties has increased.
In addition to ne·ka·ku·bae, a number of distribution platforms such as ‘luxury platform’ and ‘quick commerce (immediate delivery) platform’ were also included in the list of witnesses in this year’s national inspection. In particular, in the case of luxury platforms, representatives such as Balan and Trenby applied as witnesses. It is expected that inquiries related to various kinds of noise, such as controversy over fake products, leakage of personal information, and unfair practices, will pour in.
Quick commerce platform companies that have been constantly criticized for damage to alleyways will also stand in the head of the National Assembly. As the market related to quick commerce grows rapidly, it is expected that the need for related regulations will be considered. In order to protect small and medium-sized businesses, politicians are already examining whether regulations such as the commercial area impact assessment, store opening registration system, and business hours restrictions applied to the existing large marts and supermarkets can be applied to the quick commerce industry.
By Sung Hyun-hee, reporter [email protected]