Seoul - South Korea's antitrust regulator said Wednesday it has fined a French engineering company 12.5 billion won (US$11 million) for its unfair tie-in sales to South Korean shipbuilding clients. Gaztransport & Technigaz S.A. (GTT) has provided its cargo containment systems to liquefied natural gas carriers built by eight Korean shipbuilders under its separate licensing agreements with the shipyards, the Fair Trade Commission said in a statement.
The deals allowed the shipbuilders to use GTT's LNG-related patents and know-how, but GTT also forced the shipbuilders to buy its engineering services as part of unfair market practices, the statement said. On top of the fine, the regulator has delivered a correction order to the French company, which also offers cargo containment systems for land storage of LNG ships, it said.
GTT accounted for 95 percent of the global LNG ship cargo containment systems licensing market in 2018 in terms of sales, the statement said. The eight shipyards are Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries Co., Hyundai Mipo Dockyard Co., Samsung Heavy Industries Co., Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co., Hanjin Heavy Industries Co., HSG Sungdong Shipbuilding Co. and Daehan Shipbuilding.(Source: Yonhap)