The number of unfair trade practices in South Korea plunged in 2016 from the previous year due largely to a drop in newspaper companies' violations of the nation's fair trade, officials said Thursday.
The Fair Trade Commission, the country's antitrust watchdog, imposed sanctions on 60 unfair business practices last year, down 43 cases from the previous year.
The number covered violations for which the FTC issued administrative warnings or stricter penalties. It marked the first time in 27 years that the number of detected unfair trade practices dropped below the 100 mark.
The fall was attributed largely to a decline in violations by newspaper publishers amid tumbling demand for newspapers.
"The decline in reports of newspaper companies' violations affected the overall drop," an FTC official said. "Excluding newspaper firms, the number of sanctioned unfair transaction practices seems to have increased."
Meanwhile, the number of FTC's overall sanctions shrank 14 percent from a year earlier to 2,279 in 2016, marking the first on-year decrease in three years. (Yonhap)