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FTC to Intensify Scrutiny of Live Streaming Commerce T&C.

The Fair Trade Commission (FTC) of South Korea is reviewing the terms and conditions of live streaming providers for unfair practices.

This is part of the regulator’s 2023 work plan, which aims to intensively review the distribution sector, including live streaming trade and subscription services.

Live streaming commerce has become a new distribution channel that enables real-time communication between sellers and consumers via video and chat.

The sector has experienced significant growth in recent years and has low barriers to entry and an increasing number of consumer complaints.

Therefore, the FTC is evaluating the fairness of these providers.

Representative platform operators in the live trading sector, such as Naver, Kakao, Coupang, BAEMIN, and Grip, are expected to be included in the investigation.

The FTC will investigate whether intermediary platform operators are unfairly shirking their responsibilities, shifting the burden to consumers, or unreasonably restricting the rights of content sellers and creators.

In the past, the FTC has required platform operators such as Naver, WeMakePrice, Coupang, and Yogiyo to voluntarily correct terms that allow unlimited use of users’ copyrighted works without compensation, as well as terms that do not specify the purpose of the company’s use of contributions.

The regulator will also investigate whether live-streaming trading platform operators have immunity rules for damages caused intentionally or negligently.

Unlike mail orders, merchants, such as TV-based, are not responsible for the quality of products if they disclose in advance that they are not the party conducting the sale.

This review by the FTC highlights the importance of live-streaming commerce operators adopting fair and transparent practices to maintain consumer trust and encourage the sector’s continued growth.

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