Participants hold hand signs at a press conference at the People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy office in Jongno-gu, Seoul on May 4.
Participants hold hand signs at a press conference at the People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy office in Jongno-gu, Seoul on May 4.

People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy to report Coupang to FTC; 'Seller's know-how takeover'

ANI | Updated: May 06, 2021 11:01 IST


Seoul [South Korea], May 6 (ANI/Global Economic): People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy and other organizations reported to the Fair Trade Commission on Tuesday about alleged violations of the Fair Trade Act, E-Commerce Act, and Terms and Conditions Regulation Act by inducing Coupang sellers to compete and suffer damages, as well as deceive consumers.
People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy held a press conference at their office in Jongno-gu, Seoul, and stated, "Coupang has seized the seller's copyright and business know-how through the "Item Winner" system, terms and conditions, which is also a deceptive consumer incentive."
According to the People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy, "Item Winner" is a system that exposes the cheapest and best rated items as representative product sellers among the same products listed in Coupang.
People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy explained, "A winner-take-all system that allows sellers (item winners) who sell even one won cheaper to have everything," and said, "When the company becomes an Item Winner, it takes all of the representative product images uploaded by previous sellers, customer inquiries and reviews, etc."

They pointed out that the reason why Item Winner can use product images of other sellers as if it were his own is in Coupang's terms and conditions.
Coupang requested the sellers to give up and transfer the copyright of content materials such as trademarks, trade names, logos, texts, images, etc. in the terms and conditions, and even if the contractual relationship with the seller is terminated, the copyright remains indefinitely in Coupang's possession.
"The product name and image, customer reviews, and Q&A are important information that affects consumers' product selection," said the People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy. "Concealing and reducing the fact that it may belong to a seller other than Item Winner is misleading for consumers."
They added, "The takeover of Coupang's copyright and business know-how is an unfair trade act." "There is a need for legislation to prevent unfair trade by online platform operators including Coupang."
In general, when a report is received regarding terms and conditions, the FTC will check whether the facts are correct at the headquarters and correct any unfair terms and conditions. Businesses that violate the FTC's corrective order may be imprisoned for up to two years or fined up to 100 million won. (ANI/Global Economic)

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