South Korean watchdog the Fair Trade Commission has imposed a hefty fine on Carrefour Korea for allegedly passing on expenses to suppliers. The retailer has been under investigation since November following accusations it had violated fair trade regulations by asking suppliers to pay for the cost of samples, advertising and part time employees. Charging the company with neglecting its "required duties" after being instructed to stop unfairly billing suppliers last year, the FTC imposed a 500m won ($386,700) fine and demanded that Carrefour came clean about its "improper business practices". The FTC claims Carrefour Korea unfairly charged suppliers 22.7bn, 57.1bn and 97.8bn won in 1998, 1999 and 2000. - Carrefour is trialling a new online shopping service in France called Carrefour Direct. Unlike Carrefour's other online shopping site Ooshop, which fulfils online orders from central picking centres, orders will be picked from stores. Trials have begun in selected provincial cities, leaving Ooshop to focus on Paris and Lyon. {{NEWS }}