A New Kid on the Block: Korean Competition Law, Policy, and Economics

Youngjin Jung, Sang-Seung Yi, Nov 05, 2007

For a relatively young agency with only a quarter-century history, the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) has achieved some remarkable success in cartel enforcement and competition advocacy. However, its track record in enforcing merger control leaves much to be desired and its recent ambitious foray into regulating unilateral conduct by global firms such as Microsoft has received a mixed review. In order to achieve its aspiration to be recognized as a global force in antitrust for which it has already made significant progress the KFTC should take measures to encourage private suits, strengthen its economic analysis unit, fundamentally overhaul chaebol (large Korean conglomerates) regulation, establish a Chinese wall between its investigative and adjudicative offices and personnel, and reinforce its efforts to guarantee proper procedural rights to defendants. In taking these steps, the KFTC can grow from its current new kid on the block status to a leader in global antitrust.

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