Court Receives Evidence of Misleading Ads by 3 South Korean Mobile Carriers


By Kang Yoon-seung

SEOUL, Aug. 17 (Yonhap) — South Korea’s antitrust regulator has provided the Seoul Central District Court with proof of false advertisements released by the nation’s three major mobile carriers, in connection with ongoing civil cases.

In May, the Fair Trade Commission (FTC) exposed that SK Telecom Co., KT Corp. and LG Uplus Corp. had overstated the performance of their 5G network services, with their promotions suggesting speeds that could only be achieved in certain conditions.

In response, the regulator imposed a fine of 16.8 billion won (US$12.5 million) on SK Telecom, the leading company, followed by KT with 13.9 billion won and LG Uplus with 2.8 billion won.

At the moment, three civil lawsuits filed by consumers are pending at the Seoul Central District Court.

The FTC said that while the advertisements gave the impression that users could enjoy the maximum speed, the three mobile carriers failed to verify that their services can reach that level.

The three companies each claimed they provided the fastest 5G service in South Korea, without providing verified data.

The FTC said consumers affected by the deceptive advertisements regarding 5G services can either initiate a lawsuit against the mobile carriers directly or join an ongoing legal proceeding.

Separately, they can seek compensation through the Korea Consumer Agency, it added.

An official from the Fair Trade Commission holds a briefing on violations of local laws by the country's three mobile carriers in this file photo taken in the central city of Sejong on May 24, 2023. (Yonhap)

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