Questioning necessary for Kakao founder for suspected stock rigging: prosecution

SEOUL, Questioning of Kakao Corp. founder Kim Beom-su is necessary as part of an investigation into alleged stock price manipulation connected to the firm's takeover of K-pop powerhouse SM Entertainment, a prosecution office said Tuesday. The investigation centers on suspicions that the mobile platform company and its executives manipulated SM stock prices in a bidding war it won in February last year against Hybe, the parent company of K-pop superband BTS' management agency BigHit, over the takeover of the K-pop powerhouse. Last year, the Financial Supervisory Service referred Kim, along with several Kakao executives, to the prosecution for further investigation and potential indictment in connection with the suspicions. "Kim is a suspect in the (SM) stock price manipulation case. Questioning him is necessary in connection with the case," said an official at the Seoul Southern District Prosecutors Office in charge of the investigation. The official said, however, that it's too early to say when the ques tioning would take place. Prosecutors earlier indicted Kakao's chief investment officer, Bae Jae-hyun, under physical detention on stock price manipulation charges, and have since been looking into whether Kim and more Kakao executives were also involved. Source: Yonhap News Agency

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