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(EDITORIAL from the Korea JoongAng Daily on July 15)

Taking on Naver at last

The Saenuri Party decided to reform the Internet portal market by revising the Fair Trade Act. It will turn in a draft to the National Assembly this September. The party thinks that the near monopoly by one Internet portal has gone too far. This revision is clearly aimed at Naver, which accounts for 75 percent of online searches in Korea. Even though Naver and its supporters are saying that the press is colluding with the powers to kill it, it is imperative to correct the confusing, unfair and opaque culture of Internet portals.

Naver has become to a star among IT start-ups thanks to the support of people who wanted it to successfully compete against foreign portals like Google and Yahoo. People expected Naver would play an important role in building a new ecosystem in which one start-up like itself nurtures other start-ups. But Naver betrayed those expectations and has concentrated on expanding and diversifying its own businesses recklessly. With superior capital and market dominance, Naver fearlessly copies other companies’ ideas - especially start-ups’ ideas - and squeezes them out of the market.