Happy days over for Korean broadband?

Seoul long, and thanks for all the bandwidth...
Written by Ben King, Contributor

Seoul long, and thanks for all the bandwidth...

Korea has been making the rest of the world look foolish with its rapid roll-out of broadband, but the Europeans may soon have less cause for embarrassment as Korea seems set to be becoming less competitive and more costly. Cut-throat competition in Korean broadband has driven down prices, which have been jumped upon by eight million consumers - resulting in massive losses for operators, but it seems the feeding frenzy is nearing an end. The industry is now moving into a phase of consolidation, which will almost certainly see prices rise. Hanaro Telecom and Thrunet, Korea's second and third largest broadband internet providers are planning to merge, and are preparing a bid for control of cable operator Powercomm, the Financial Times reports. Hanaro and Thrunet have launched a widespread acquisition programme, as they struggle to achieve profitability by building scale. Between them, they control around 45 per cent of Korea's broadband market, while Korea Telecom, the market leader, controls around 50 per cent.
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