Retrospect and Prospect on Korean Antitrust Law

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Kwon, Ohseung
Issue Date
BK 21 law
Journal of Korean Law, Vol.4 No.2, pp. 1-28
In restrospect, this paper considers and evaluates the development of the Korean Antitrust Act, which is the fundamental law of the economic order, since 1981.

The direct objective of the Act is to promote free and fair competition, as well as to prevent the concentration of economic power. Its ultimate objectives, however, are the stimulation of creative business activities, consumer protection, and the promotion of the balanced development of the nationl economy. The Act contains substantive law regulations on monopolies and oligopolies, mergers, anticompetitive collaborative acts, unfair trade practices, ect. The Act also establishes a regulatory agency, the Fair Trade Commission, and puts in place enforcement procedures. The Korea Antitrust Act has “come of age.” It has made the nation as a whole aware of the importance of the fair trade system and made a substantial contribution to the correction of anti-competitive or unfair trade practices. It has not, however, reached the point of taking its rightful place as the foundation of the Korean economic oder because it has not converted monopolized and oligopolized market structures to competitive ones, nor has it prevented the excessive concentration of economic power.

Looking ahead, this paper outlines wide-ranging proposals to reform the Act, including its substantive, organizational and procedural aspects. In particular, the Fair Trade Commission needs to devote itself solely to the work of maintaining and realizing the proper functioning of the market economy. Political issues such as the prevention of the concentration of economic power should be transferred to a separate body. Further, private remedies should be promoted in order to correct unfair trade practices.
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College of Law/Law School (법과대학/대학원)The Law Research Institute (법학연구소) Journal of Korean LawJournal of Korean Law Volume 04 Number 1/2 (2004)
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