Overview of Current Antitrust Enforcement in Korea

Sep 12, 2014

CPI Asia Column edited by Vanessa Zhang (Global Economics Group) presents:

Overview of Current Antitrust Enforcement in KoreaHwang Lee (Korea University School of Law; Deputy Director, ICR Law Center)

Antitrust enforcement in Korea has witnessed many changes in the past year since a new political leadership took place as a result of the December 2012 presidential election. Ever since the 2008 global financial crisis, Korea has experienced economic difficulties similar to most other economies in the world. Korea’s difficulties were considered more troubling because they dramatically exacerbated many of its existing problems. Experts have been concerned with Korea’s loss of potential economic growth momentum in two aspects: limitations of existing growth strategies and economic and social bi-polarization. The new administration has tried to solve these issues by emphasizing the so-called “creative economy” as a key economic policy and by taking measures to protect small and medium sized firms (the “SMEs”). As Korean competition policies were mandated to play a major role for this latter goal, it seems to have dominated Korean competition policy for the last one and a half years.

As widely known, Korean competition policy is composed of two large blocks: on one hand, there are the traditional antitrust policies that pay attention to the creation and maintenance of market power in the context of market competition; and on the other, fair trade pol…

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