Kakao Mobility Introduces Lower Commission for Taxi Drivers Amid Criticism of Market Dominance

SEOUL: Kakao Mobility Corp., South Korea's leading taxi-hailing service operator, announced on Wednesday the introduction of a new, more affordable membership category for registered taxi drivers. This move comes as the company faces criticism over its market practices and other allegations.

According to Yonhap News Agency, the new membership plan for taxi drivers will involve a lower commission rate of 2.8 percent, a significant reduction from the current rate of 4 to 5 percent. This initiative is part of the company's efforts to alleviate the financial burden on taxi drivers. Additionally, Kakao Mobility aims to enhance the service's matching quality between drivers and taxi users, thereby improving overall service efficiency.

The announcement arrives at a time when Kakao Mobility is under scrutiny for its alleged monopolistic practices in the taxi-hailing business. The company has been facing public criticism, which has been further amplified by stock manipulation allegations involving its parent company, Kakao Corp., and its top executives.

Kakao Corp., the operator of South Korea's top mobile messenger KakaoTalk, has been embroiled in controversy. Last month, the Financial Supervisory Service referred Kakao's founder, Kim Beom-su, and CEO Hong Eun-taek to the prosecution. They are accused of manipulating the stock prices of K-pop powerhouse SM Entertainment Co. during a bidding war in February against Hybe, the parent company of K-pop superband BTS' management agency, BigHit.

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