Hanssem, Hyundai Livart fined for price rigging

Models pose at a model home fitted with Hanssem furniture in this undated photo. Courtesy of Hanssem

A total of 31 home furniture manufacturers, including two top-ranked brands Hanssem and Hyundai Livart, were slapped with a combined 93.1 billion won ($68.8 milllion) fine for years of colluding on bidding for built-in furniture, the Fair Trade Commission (FTC) said Sunday.The country’s fair trade watchdog said the companies rigged the bidding process on a total of 738 apartment construction projects from 2012 to 2022. The projects were run by 24 builders nationwide.The sales they raised though collusion was worth 1.94 trillion won.By company, Hanssem, Hyundai Livart and their smaller rival Enex were most frequently involved in collusion. Each of them was listed on rigging for projects run by 22 of the 24 builders.

Accordingly, Hanssem was fined with 21.1 billion won. Hyundai Livart was slapped with 19.1 billion won while Enex was fined with 17.3 billion won. “Those involved in the rigging consulted on one another prior to the bid, determining who should win the supposedly competitive bidding for certain projects,” FTC said.It explained that pre-determined successful bidder shared the cost that it finds ideal to raise profit with peers.In return, the peers proposed a higher bid price for the rigging to be carried out as planned.The pre-determined successful bidder was randomly picked by rolling a dice, drawing lots and other methods, according to the FTC.

“They circulated up-to-date information on bidding processes, with some of them hoping to build on rigging practices for further cooperation and trust-building,” it said.The watchdog explained the rigging was believed to have increased the sales price of each unit of newly-built apartments.“Considering apartments are the most preferred type of housing (in Korea), we should not let any collusion affecting their prices happen again in the future,” the FTC said.In a press release, Hanssem acknowledged is deep responsibilty for its wrongdoings and sincerely apologized to those who had placed their trust in the company.It pledged to prioritize ethical management to root out unfair business practices and be “reborn” as a company embodying 온라인카지노 values with transparency.

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