By Sung Eyup Park, Kyu Hyoung Jeon
On September 22, 2011, the Korea Fair Trade Commission (the "KFTC") reported its future plans to the National Assembly's Government Affairs Committee (the "Committee") during the National Assembly's Audit, details of which are described below.
First, the KFTC reported to the Committee that it plans to closely monitor any cartels or unfair trade practices, particularly in the telecommunication and finance sectors.
Moreover, the KFTC announced that it will strictly enforce the Korean competition laws against the abuse of intellectual property ("IP") rights, including activities undertaken by pharmaceutical companies as original patent holders to delay the introduction of generic drugs and will conduct surveys concerning the abuse of IP rights for industries such as semi-conductor manufacturing equipment, auto parts, fabrics and chemicals during the last quarter of 2011. In addition, it will establish and disseminate in December 2011 best practice standards in the area of IP and medical devices.
Furthermore, in order to correct cartel activity in a swift and effective manner and to prevent cartels from reoccurring, the KFTC reported to the Committee that it plans to revise the current system whereby parties engaged in cartel activities may be granted a larger reduction in the applicable administrative fine if the colluding parties voluntarily reduce the price of the cartelized products. In addition, the KFTC said it plans to assist in making information and funds necessary for private litigation available to consumer groups.
As part of their efforts to enhance consumer rights and protect personal information, the KFTC plans to by December 2011, establish best practice standards for the protection of personal information.