A new competition Law for Korea: political, economic and legal context

Eun Hye Kim, Mel Marquis

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For the first time in 40 years, Korea has completed a major revision of its competition law, the Monopoly Regulation and Fair Trade Act. The new amendments enter into force in December 2021. To mark this occasion, we explore both the broader context and the key features of the legislative reforms. As we discuss, the Korean system balances compatibility with international best practice, on the one hand, and internal priorities on the other. We begin the article by exploring the political and economic environment in which the Korean competition law regime operates. We also summarise the legal framework and the main institutions that apply the law in this field—the KFTC and the Courts. We explain how the more modest amendments of 2013 changed the MRFTA, and we discuss highlights from the KFTC’s case practice in recent years. Next, we outline the 2020 amendments, which appear to make significant improvements to the Act. We then briefly address the impact of COVID-19 on the KFTC’s activities before concluding.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)645-660
Number of pages16
JournalECLR: European Competition Law Review
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Antirust
  • Competition Law
  • Korean Competition Law
  • Monopoly Regulation and Fair Trade Act
  • Chaebol

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