South Korea merger control
Produced in partnership with Yoon & Yang LLC
South Korea merger control

The following Competition practice note produced in partnership with Yoon & Yang LLC provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • South Korea merger control
  • 1. Have there been any recent developments regarding the South Korean merger control regime and are any updates/developments expected in the coming year? Are there any other 'hot' merger control issues in South Korea?
  • 2. Under South Korean merger control law, is the control test the same as the EU concept of 'decisive influence'? If not, how does it differ and what is the position in relation to 'minority shareholdings'?
  • 3. Are joint ventures caught by the national merger control provisions (including non-structural, cooperative joint ventures)?
  • 4. What are the merger control thresholds and would a purely foreign-to-foreign transaction be caught (commenting on any 'effects' doctrine/policy if relevant)?
  • 5. Are there any specific issues parties should be aware of when compiling and calculating the relevant turnover for applying the jurisdictional thresholds?
  • 6. Where the jurisdictional thresholds are met, is notification mandatory and must closing be suspended pending clearance?
  • 7. Is there any discretion to review transactions that fall below the notification thresholds?
  • 8. Is it possible to close the deal globally prior to local clearance?
  • 9. Is there a deadline for filing a notifiable transaction and what is the timetable thereafter for review by the Korea Fair Trade Commission?
  • More...

South Korea merger control

A conversation with Paul S. Rhee, senior foreign attorney and partner at South Korean law firm Yoon & Yang LLC, on key issues on merger control in South Korea.

NOTE–to see whether notification thresholds in South Korea and throughout the world are met, see Where to Notify.

1. Have there been any recent developments regarding the South Korean merger control regime and are any updates/developments expected in the coming year? Are there any other 'hot' merger control issues in South Korea?

Competition law that regulates business combinations in South Korea is the Monopoly Regulation and Fair Trade Act (MRFTA), which is enforced by the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC).

On 27 February 2019, the KFTC amended its Guidelines for Merger Notification to add standards for reviewing mergers in innovative industries (involving information assets or big data and R&D) in order to assess the competitive effects of such mergers. The amendments specified standards for defining the relevant market, calculating the market concentration and determining anti-competitive effects in reviewing transactions relating to industries based on innovation (ie industries where innovation competition such as R&D is essential and occurs continuously), such as information technology, and provided a more effective review of innovation reducing effects manifested in, for example, potential acquisition of competitors. According to the amendments, when a company acquires another company in the process of product

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