Korea Fair Trade Commission

Ministerial-level central administrative organization under the
authority of the Prime Minister functions as a quasi-judiciary body.

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International Affairs

Overview

What is International Competition Policy?
  • To seek cooperation in various ways with foreign competitive authorities, international organizations, etc. to cope proactively with threats to competition such as international cartels, etc. which occur across borders.
    • As the world economy becomes globalized and integrated, business activities of foreign enterprises are more likely to influence on the domestic market; competitive laws are more frequently applied to overseas transactions such as mergers between foreign enterprises; and laws are more frequently enforced on foreign enterprises.
    • For this reason, the enforcement of competitive laws only within South Korea is insufficient for effectively coping with threats to competition such as international cartels of multinational enterprises.
    • Accordingly, in order to overcome these problems, the competitive authorities of each country share materials and information necessary for the enforcement of competitive laws with foreign competitive authorities, international organizations, etc., and actively promote the forging of cooperative relations among competitive authorities through mutual coordination and cooperation in the process of law enforcement.
      ex) Leading in the international cooperation by holding the Seoul Competition Forum every two years in addition to the ongoing close cooperation with major countries or international organizations; and actively taking on activities to share the experience regarding the enforcement of competition laws with developing countries in Asia including China and Vietnam.

Activities

Bilateral Cooperation
  • Free trade agreement (FTA)
    • Facilitating the negotiation on a competition chapter within an FTA, in order to maximize the effect of trade liberalization on matters such as products and services.
      ex) Korea has concluded FTAs with Chile('04), Singapore('06), EFTA('06), India('10), EU('11), Peru('11), US('12), Turkey('13), Australia('14), Canada('15), China('15), New Zealand('15), Vietnam('15), Colombia('16), etc. (The Korea-ASEAN FTA concluded in 2009 doesn't include Competition Chapter)
  • Bilateral agreements, etc.
    • Concluding cooperative agreements as necessity arises for building systematic cooperative relations with relevant foreign competitive authorities for the purpose of applying the Monopoly Regulation and Fair Trade Act to overseas business transactions.
      ex) The KFTC has concluded MOUs with competition authorities of Russia('99), Rumania('02), Australia('02), EU('04, '09) Mexico('04), Turkey('05), Canada('06), China(NDRC, MOFCOM, SAIC) ('12), Indonesia('13), Brazil('14), Japan('14), US('15), etc.
Multilateral Cooperation
  • OECD Competition Committee
    • As a committee in charge of the competition policy among 26 sectoral committees of the OECD, it is comprised of the main meeting and the affiliated work groups. The committee holds three regular conference every year (in February, June and October), and its major activities include round-table meetings where member countries hold presentation and discussions on analysis reports produced by the Secretariat on specific issues, as well as the enactment of OECD Recommendation.
      OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) was established in 1961 to seek economic development and cope jointly with global economic problems through policy coordination and cooperation reciprocally among member countries. Currently it has 30 member countries (South Korea joined in 1996.)
  • International Competition Network (ICN)
    • The International Competition Network (ICN) was established in 2001 as a result of the meeting held at Fordham University of the United States, attended by top antitrust officials from 14 jurisdictions including the United States, European Union and South Korea. Currently, a total of 102 institutions enforcing competition laws in 92 countries participate in the ICN.
    • ICN is comprised of one operation group, one committee and seven work groups, holding an annual general meeting hosted by a member country on an alternate basis.
      ICN (International Competition Network)
Technological Support Activities
  • Workshop for international competition policy
    • It has been held every year since 1996 as a channel through which the institutions and operational experience of both developed and developing countries are shared. The workshop is mostly participated by public officials from developing countries in East Asia and from Russia and other countries within the Commonwealth of Independent States.
  • KOICA training session for competition policy
    • To share operational experience of competition laws in South Korea with developing countries in cooperation with Korea International Cooperation Agency since 2002.
      KOICA (Korea International Cooperation Agency)
  • Training at the OECD-Korea Policy Centre in Seoul
    • The OECD-Korea Regional Center for Competition was established in April 2004 in cooperation with the OECD, providing programs aimed at strengthening capacities in the competition law field in developing countries in Asia.
    • The OECD-Korea Regional Center for Competition was transformed to the OECD-Korea Policy Centre in January 2007.
  • Holding international events such as the Seoul Competition Forum
    • The Seoul Competition Forum was first held in 2001 in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the founding of the Korea Fair Trade Commission. Since 2002, the forum has been held every other year as a venue where developed and developing countries discuss issues regarding international competition policy and share their respective experience in operating related laws and institutions.
    • By introducing exemplary enforcement activities of competition laws in South Korea, the forum aims to become one of the three international competition forums, together with the Bonn Anti-trust Forum of Germany and the Fordam Anti-trust Forum of the United States.