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Enforcement direction of competition law

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  • Enforcement direction of competition law
  • Suh, Dong Won
  • Seoul National University(BK 21 Law)


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Title Enforcement direction of competition law
Similar Titles
Material Type Articles
Author(English)

Suh, Dong Won

Publisher

[Seoul]:Seoul National University(BK 21 Law)

Date 2005
Journal Title; Vol./Issue Journal of Korean Law:vol. 4(no. 2)
Pages 16
Subject Country South Korea(Asia and Pacific)
Language English
File Type Link
Subject Government and Law < Laws and Legislation
Holding Seoul National University

Abstract

The Monopoly Regulation and Fair Trade Act (hereinafter MRFTA: Korea’s competition law), which was enacted in 1980, has been introduced and enforced to achieve more mature market economy. In order to normalize distorted market functions arising from the government-led economic growth, the activities such as abusive behavior of market dominance, cartel, anti-competitive M&A and unfair trade practices were prohibited under the law. However, since the mid 1980s, due to rising problems of excessive concentration of economic power and influence from large business conglomerates, or Chaebols, the Korea Fair Trade Commission (hereinafter KFTC: Korean government agency for enforcement of the competition law) has amended the MRFTA many times, imposing restrictions on shareholdings and transaction practices, such as prohibition of cross shareholdings and debtguarantee between affiliates, restriction on total amount of shareholdings in other domestic companies, and prohibition of undue intra-group transactions. In addition, the KFTC enacted the Fair Subcontract Transactions Act for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) not to face undue disadvantages in subcontract transactions, which can often arise from asymmetric negotiation powers between SMEs and large companies. Such regulations on large companies are causing a lot of criticisms these days as every aspect of the Korean economy has become more and more exposed to international competition with acceleration of globalization. Therefore, by getting various ideas from a wide range of opinion groups since early 2003, the government established the 3-Year Market Reform Roadmap which aims at facilitating market functions through regulatory reform as well as reinforcement of cartel regulation and prohibition of unfair trade practices. In addition, for large business conglomerates, the roadmap is designed to enhance transparency in business management and improve corporate governance, while streamlining previous regulations on them. By evaluating the performance of the improvement of corporate governance, the government will review whether to abolish or ease the regulations on large companies after 3 years of implementation of the Roadmap. This policy direction was reflected on the amended MRFTA in late 2004.