South Korea’s antitrust regulator, the Fair Trade Commission (FTC), has fined Pokémon Korea Inc. 1 million won (US$753) for failing to provide consumers with sufficient information about its “New Year Lucky Box” of random toys.
The FTC said that Pokemon Korea did not notify consumers of the 83 potential products that could be included in the box, nor did it provide information about the country of origin of the products. This deprived consumers of the opportunity to make a rational decision about whether or not to purchase the box.
The FTC noted that Pokemon Korea had not committed a similar violation in the past three years, so the fine was limited to 1 million won. However, the regulator said that it would take further action if Pokemon Korea failed to comply with its orders.
The fine is the latest in a series of actions taken by the FTC against companies that sell random boxes of goods without providing adequate information to consumers. In 2020, the FTC fined Lotte Mart 200 million won (US$150,000) for failing to disclose the contents of its “Lotte Box” of random toys.
The FTC is cracking down on the sale of random boxes because it believes that consumers are being misled and taken advantage of. The regulator is also concerned that the practice could lead to gambling addiction.
The fine against Pokemon Korea is a warning to other companies that sell random boxes of goods. Companies that fail to provide adequate information to consumers could face stiff fines.