Chapter 6: International Interactions of Korean Competition Law
Youngjin Jung INTRODUCTION 1. Competition law or antitrust law, once considered to be the sole domain of domestic law, has gone global. It now reaches beyond the realm of domestic jurisdiction. Korean competition law is not an exception. The Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) routinely stretches the Monopoly Regulation and Fair Trade Act (MRFTA) overseas to pursue and regulate anticompetitive behaviors by foreign companies located in foreign jurisdictions. Global cartel enforcement is probably the most glaring example of this trend. In the Graphite-electrodes case, the KFTC successfully extended its jurisdiction over foreign companies and regulated and punished overseas cartel behavior. In later cases, the KFTC has demonstrated a continued penchant for global cartels that adversely affect the Korean market. The KFTC’s establishment of the International Cartel Division within the Cartel Bureau demonstrates its commitment to cracking down on global cartels. Equally important, the KFTC has also actively enforced its merger control regulations with respect to foreignto-foreign business combinations. Korean lawyers are routinely asked by international clients to assess whether billions of dollars of global mega-mergers would trigger notification obligations. Abuse of market dominance is another area in which the KFTC’s global reach is apparent. The KFTC’s 2006 Microsoft decision was just a harbinger of subsequent investigations by the KFTC into global IT giants, such as Intel and Qualcomm. On June 5, 2008 and July 23, 2009, the KFTC set yet further milestones by ruling against Intel and Qualcomm respectively for their abuses of market dominance. As such, extraterritorial application of...
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