South Korea’s largest shipbuilder, Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., was fined 970 million won (US$805,000) for unfair trade with its subcontractors, the country’s antitrust watchdog said.
The fine levied on Hyundai Heavy is the biggest-ever for acts of misusing technologies from other companies.
Hyundai Heavy has stolen technologies used in the production of pistons that are mounted on ship diesel engines from its subcontractor and secretly shared the technology with another subcontractor to reduce the price of products supplied by its original subcontractor, Fair Trade Commission (FTC) said.
After reducing pistons’ prices by passing the technologies to another subcontractor in 2016, Hyundai Heavy cut trade with its original subcontractor one year later, according to the FTC.
The original subcontractor’s sales fell 57 percent three months after Hyundai Heavy’s demand to cut prices of pistons, with its operating profit tumbling nearly seven fold.
The original subcontractor later reported the unfair trade by Hyundai Heavy to police and the country’s antitrust watchdog.
“We respect FTC’s judgment, but it is somewhat different from our stance. We will try to bridge the gap after reviewing the FTC statement,” an official at Hyundai Heavy said.