Cartel regulation—South Korea—Q&A guide
Cartel regulation—South Korea—Q&A guide

The following Corporate Crime practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Cartel regulation—South Korea—Q&A guide
  • 1. What is the relevant legislation?
  • 2. Which authority investigates cartel matters? Is there a separate prosecution authority? Are cartel matters adjudicated or determined by the enforcement agency, a separate tribunal or the courts?
  • 3. Have there been any recent changes, or proposals for change, to the regime?
  • 4. What is the substantive law on cartels in the jurisdiction?
  • 5. To what extent are joint ventures and strategic alliances potentially subject to the cartel laws?
  • 6. Does the law apply to individuals, corporations and other entities?
  • 7. Does the regime apply to conduct that takes place outside the jurisdiction (including indirect sales into the jurisdiction)? If so, on what jurisdictional basis?
  • 8. Is there an exemption or defence for conduct that only affects customers or other parties outside the jurisdiction?
  • 9. Are there any industry-specific infringements? Are there any industry-specific defences or exemptions?
  • More...

Cartel regulation—South Korea—Q&A guide

This Practice Note contains a jurisdiction-specific Q&A guide to cartel regulation in South Korea published as part of the Lexology Getting the Deal Through series by Law Business Research (published: February 2021).

Authors: Yoon & Yang LLC—Hoil Yoon; Chang Ho Kum; Yang Jin Park

1. What is the relevant legislation?

The relevant legislation is the Monopoly Regulation and Fair Trade Act (MRFTA).

2. Which authority investigates cartel matters? Is there a separate prosecution authority? Are cartel matters adjudicated or determined by the enforcement agency, a separate tribunal or the courts?

In general, the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) enforces the law. The KFTC is an independent administrative branch of the Korean government responsible for administrative investigations, prosecution and adjudication. It has nine commissioners, consisting of a chair, a vice-chair, three standing commissioners and four non-standing commissioners. Within the Secretariat of the KFTC, the Cartel Investigation Bureau is primarily responsible for the administrative investigation and prosecution of cartels. As for criminal prosecution, upon receipt of a criminal referral from the KFTC, only then does the Prosecutors' Office have the authority to investigate and prosecute cartels for criminal punishment.

Meanwhile, article 315 of the Korean Criminal Code and article 95 of the Framework Act on the Construction Industry provide for the offence of bid rigging, which may be prosecuted by the Prosecutors' Office without regard to receiving any criminal

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