EXO-CBX’s reps request the Korea FTC to examine all SM Entertainment contracts + SME relents & says they’ll provide payment records

After the initial expected back-and-forth between the opposing sides of EXO-CBX and SM Entertainment over the validity of their contract, the reps of EXO-CBX are now expanding the issue into something bigger, as they are requesting the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) to look at all of SME’s contracts with their artists for legality.

On June 4, we made an official complaint to the Free Trade Commission about SM Entertainment’s abusive business practices. We reported to the Free Trade Commission that despite the commission already issuing corrective orders on October 2007 and January 2011, SM Entertainment had ignored those orders and largely continued its practice of unfair contracts.
We requested that the commission levy strict corrective orders to SM and, furthermore, that a full investigation be made into all of SM artists’ contracts. In 2023, SM is continuing the actions that the commission had deemed as business malpractice in 2007 and 2011.

The clauses they allege to be problematic are the setting of the start date of the contract at debut, the contract period being longer than peers in the industry, extending the contract of trainees due to international expansion, extending contracts by setting specific milestone anniversary dates for when the contract expires, and extending contracts based on things like the amount of album releases without a cap on extensions.

The lawyers also included a message from the members themselves, who say they are trying to look out for those that came after them as well.

We hope that our courage and efforts will ensure the rights of our hoobaes are protected and that we make a small contribution to a healthy change in the Pop industry.

Again, we don’t actually know if the contracts look like EXO-CBX’s side is claiming yet, but obviously if it’s anything close to what they’re describing then SME might have major issues going forward.

We’ll see how it turns out, but I can’t imagine wanting the KFTC to review the contracts is some kind of bluff since they’ll probably do it.


On the other side, SME seems to have softened their stance a little, as they now say they are willing to provide copies of the settlements.

Our decision for EXO
– Decided to provide copies of the payment materials to EXO members with their consent that the three artists and their agents will not use the data for unfair purposes.
– We will do our best not to interfere with EXO’s activities.
However, after much consideration, we have decided to provide copies of the payment data to the three artists on the premise that the three artists and their representatives will not use the data for any other purposes than reviewing the settlement details. We have also explained this situation to the other EXO members and sought their consent to provide copies of the data.
Through these measures, we hope to show our sincere love and care for all members of EXO and the fans who support EXO.

Gotta say, this sounds like lawyers told them they messed up on this front and the artists have a right to have third parties (like lawyers or accountants or whatever) view the settlements independently, so they caved on this point.

Not sure how much this resolves at this juncture, as it’s clear it goes beyond just this point and it isn’t going away.


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Thot Leader™