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A dillydallying government

Nov 05,2019
Fair Trade Commission (FTC) chief Joh Sung-wook admitted that the state agency missed the opportunity to support the Tada van-hailing service, which had a positive effect on competition in the market. Her comment comes after the new mobility industry has become endangered by traditional law enforcement and the taxi industry after executives of the van-hailing service were indicted by the prosecution.

The belated mea culpa at the same time underscores the Moon Jae-in administration’s negligence in its duty to mediate, coordinate and referee on issues of conflicting interests. Government officials are dumping the blame on the prosecution, although its neglect and dillydallying has triggered the problem.

Minister of Transport Kim Hyun-mee — who did not even respond to the prosecution’s request for an opinion after the taxi industry filed a complaint over Tada — expressed regret over the indictment. Park Young-sun — head of the Ministry of SMEs and Startups, which had neglected the issue — joined the chorus and criticized the prosecution for its tough action based on an “outdated perspective.” Hong Nam-ki, deputy prime minister for the economy, also criticized the prosecution for intervening “even before the government came up with a measure that can be helpful to both new and traditional mobility industries.”

The anti-trust agency also has been equally neglectful. VCNC, Tada’s operator, filed a complaint against the taxi association for its collective action to prevent losing member drivers to the van-hailing service in August, but the authority did not take any action.

From the comments of senior government officials, the prosecution is being portrayed as if it has stepped into the administrative jurisdiction. Although they are in chorus in shifting the blame, government offices still lack coordination. The prosecution gave earlier notice on its indictment plan to the Justice Ministry, but the ministry did not refer the matter to the Ministry of Transport.

JoongAng Ilbo, Nov. 4, Page 30