South Korea: Carlsberg blamed for ‘unfair’ and “unethical’ behavior

Carlsberg Group has "unilaterally" terminated their distribution contract of Carlsberg beer in Korea with GoldenBlue, the South Korean whiskey maker and distributor of imported liquor products, told the press.

GoldenBlue had distributed Carlsberg beer products under a three-year contract between 2018 and 2021.When the contract expired, Carlsberg shifted to short term contractsin an apparent attempt to set up its own sales unit in South Korea.

During the last five years, GoldenBlue hired around 50 employees for its distribution of Carlsberg beer products and ramped up sales of beer products significantly, making Carlsberg one of top 10 foreign beer brands in the country.

In October last year, Carlsberg declined to renew the existing contract with GoldenBlue and set up its own sales office.

“Despite various malicious rumors in the market and difficulties in the market stagnation, GoldenBlue continued to invest manpower and resources. GoldenBlue has maintained distribution of Carlsberg without any supply gap in the market, even while taking huge losses,” GoldenBlue told Korea News Plus.

“The termination date for can was March 31, while bottle and draft beer was Aug. 31. This unethical behavior of fixing a different date is only advantageous to the Carlsberg group, and it does not consider the situations of the partner, which has cooperated with trust and sincerity for years,” GoldenBlue said.

Carlsberg selected GoldenBlue as the partner of the year in Sept. 2020, which GoldenBlue said reflected the strength of the relationship between the two companies. “This is why this termination notice comes as very unexpected to GoldenBlue,” the company said.

“GoldenBlue plans to inform this unfairness of the unilateral contract termination by visiting the Danish embassy, filing a complaint with the Fair-Trade Commission, and filing a legal lawsuit claiming compensation for losses,” the firm said.

“GoldenBlue wants to prevent any unfair trade relations between global and domestic companies from reoccurring in Korea. With their full capacities, GoldenBlue will seek ways to fundamentally block these deceptive business activities of global companies together with the government, companies, and associations in all directions.”

Comments from Carlsberg were not available.

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