The Korean Fair Trade Commission has fined French retail giant Carrefour KRW1.39bn (US$1.48m) for unfair business practices, the regulator said yesterday (4 July).

In a statement, the KFTC said that Carrefour Korea had used its bulk as leverage to force suppliers to reduce prices by an estimated total KRW1.74bn during a ten-month period last year. Moreover, the KFTC suggested that the retailer had deliberately delayed signing contracts in order to increase the pressure on suppliers to provide discounts.

Carrefour was unavailable for comment, but remarks in the local press by Carrefour Korea spokesperson Yim Jin-Taek have suggested that although the company claims to have been following widespread local business practices it will abide by the decision.