FTC to probe row between 7-Eleven, Business Weekly

By Joseph Yeh, The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — The Fair Trade Commission (公平會, FTC) yesterday said that it will conduct an investigation into the recent dispute between a global convenience store chain and a weekly magazine after the latter accused the former of boycotting its latest issue, which contains a report about a recent personnel shakeup of the chain. FTC spokesman Sun Lih-chyun (孫立群) said the commission received a complaint about the incident Thursday.

The commission will probe the case and ask both parties to present their argument to facilitate the investigation, he added. On Thursday, the Chinese-language Business Weekly’s Editor-in-Chief Kuo Yi-ling accused the President Chain Store Corp., the operator of 7-Eleven convenience stores in Taiwan, of refusal to sell its latest issue, arguably because it has a report on the high-level personal reshuffle of the island’s largest convenience store chain. In response, President Chain store said the incident was a distribution problem only and the magazines were later sent to all 7-Eleven chain stores Thursday afternoon.

Commenting on the case, Sun yesterday said the FTC will determine if the President Chain has violated Article 24 of the Fair Trade Act, which stipulates that no enterprise shall use deceptive or obviously unfair conduct to affect trading order. If proven guilty, the chain group could face a maximum fine of NT$25 million, he added. If the incident was a simple distribution delay as claimed by the group, then it will be a contract dispute between the two parties only, he added.