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Kakao announced that it would withdraw from some businesses that had been criticized and fulfill its social responsibilities, the company's stock price is falling day by day. At the same time, there are many forecasts that the continued pressure from regulatory authorities will adversely affect Kakao's profitability in the future.

Reporter Seong-Hoon Lee reported.


K-Cube Holdings, the private company of Kakao Chairman Kim Beom-soo, is the second largest shareholder of Kakao and effectively controls the Kakao Group.

K-Cube Holdings raised 195 billion won in loans secured by Kakao stocks, and with this money, it has grown its financial investment business by securing stakes in affiliates or investing in derivatives and overseas stocks.

More than 95% of the 27.4 billion won in revenue from 2019 came from financial investments.

The Fair Trade Commission believes that K Cube Holdings, as a financial company, may have violated the regulations on separation of finance and industry by exercising its voting rights several times over Kakao, a non-financial company.

[Park Sang-in/Professor, Graduate School of Public Administration, Seoul National University: I am thinking that I may have violated the regulations on restricting financial voting rights by exercising my voting rights without properly reporting it as a financial company. If it was done intentionally, it could be subject to legal action.] Although

Kakao said it would transform the company into a social enterprise, the Fair Trade Commission is in the position that the violation factors will not be resolved unless the financial industry, which is the essence of the controversy, is abandoned.

The Fair Trade Commission is also looking into the allegations of copyright abuse by Kakao Entertainment.

In some web novel contests, Kakao Entertainment stated that 'the right to write secondary works of the award-winning works belongs to Kakao,' but it could be an abuse of trading position.

[Publishing industry officials: Because they have a 50% market share, it is not easy for writers or publishers to reject Kakao's proposals.]

This offensive by the regulatory authorities imposes restrictions on the business area and thus Kakao's future profitability. The prediction that it will be bad news is gaining strength.

The stock price of Kakao fell nearly 30% from its previous peak, falling below 120,000 won for the first time in four months.

(Video editing: Park Ki-duk, VJ: Jung Min-goo)