The Korea Fair Trade Commission (the “KFTC”; Chairman Jae-Chan JEONG) announced its 2015 Annual Work Plan (the “Work Plan”) on January 29, 2015. In order to “establish a market economy with proper principles,” the KFTC announced its Work Plan that emphasizes focusing law enforcement on global monopoly enterprises, novel types of transactions and the public sector, as well as seeking proliferation of  the  culture  of  fair  trade between large enterprises and small-and-medium enterprises and realization of a market that promotes consumer satisfaction.

A brief introduction of the major policies for the four core tasks of the KFTC are as follows.

  1. Strengthen Enforcement of Competition Law Against Global Monopoly Enterprisers
  • The KFTC announced that the expansion of economic globalization enabled foreign enterprisers to have a great influence in the Korean market, and, as a result, the KFTC will strengthen enforcement of competition law in order to prevent the Korean market from being harmed due to abuse of market dominant position by global monopoly enterprisers.

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  1. Strengthen Potential For Creativity And Innovation By Encouraging Competition

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  1. Rectification of Unfair Practices Between Large Enterprises and SMEs
  • ​​The KFTC will continue to rectify unfair trade practices between large  enterprises  and  SMEs  in  the subcontracting, distribution, franchise and dealership sectors. Further, the KFTC  will  establish  a comprehensive protection system in order to prevent retaliation or unlawful actions by large enterprises or headquarters against a party for filing a report to the KFTC (within the first half of 2015).

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  1. Establishment of a Consumer-Friendly Market Environment

With respect to consumers, the KFTC will implement consumer protection policies for sectors with frequent consumer harm by: ① combining the various consumer relief systems dispersed throughout various agencies into  a  single  system  to  provide  a  one-stop  service;  ②  strengthening  monitoring  of  pyramid  schemes,telemarketing, door-to-door sales and funeral services in order to reduce consumer harm (in particular, illegal overseas online pyramid schemes, advertisement sales enterprises, unfair practices in the process of an M&A, etc.); ③ closely monitoring and rectifying unfair contract terms by overseas sale or shipping agencies, financial institutions and matchmaking services, as well as false or exaggerated advertising in real estate and electronic commerce sectors.