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South Korea: Agency expands antitrust effort

 |  February 15, 2017

The Fair Trade Commission, the country’s antitrust watchdog, will allow two groups representing the private sector to report antitrust cases to the agency and recommend cases be sent to prosecutors if they feel further investigation is needed.

The move is seen as a response to growing criticism from political parties and consumer advocacy groups that the agency has been too passive in turning over antitrust cases to prosecutors.

Under current law, prosecutors can only investigate antitrust cases that have been reported by the Fair Trade Commission. Even if a company turns out to have committed unfair business practices, prosecutors cannot investigate or indict them unless the antitrust agency hands them the case.

By adding the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Korea Federation of SMEs, the Fair Trade Commission is inviting the private sector to report cases to the agency for the first time.

“We will push with reform of the antitrust law that will expand the number of agencies that can report antitrust cases to the Fair Trade Commission,” the FTC Commissioner Chung Jae-chan told lawmakers at the National Assembly on Wednesday.

Full Content: Korea JoongAng Daily

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