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S. Korea to abolish FTC's exclusive rights to prosecute fair trade violations

All News 18:26 June 20, 2017

SEOUL, June 20 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's presidential policy advisory panel said Tuesday that within the next five years it will abolish the country's antitrust watchdog's exclusive rights to file a complaint with the state prosecution for any fair trade violations.

"We will remove the Fair Trade Commission (FTC) of its exclusive authority to file complaints during the Moon Jae-in government's five-year term," said Park Kwang-on, the spokesman for the State Affairs Planning Advisory Committee. "We will set up a task force team to review the issue and come up with rational proposals."

Under the Fair Trade Act, the FTC is the only entity that can bring a fair trade case to court through the prosecution. It was aimed at preventing a flood of lawsuits against local firms by individuals and civic groups, which would adversely affect normal business activities.

Critics have demanded the government grant rights to lodge a suit against rule-breaking companies to private entities.

New FTC Chairman Kim Sang-jo, a former civic activist, earlier said that the abolition of exclusive rights is one of the most effective tools to address the issue of holding companies more accountable.

But Park, the spokesman, said it will come up with a step-by-step plan to minimize the impact on the market.

brk@yna.co.kr
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