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S. Korea to end FTC's exclusive right to file complaint against firms

2017/07/17 11:58

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SEOUL, July 17 (Yonhap) -- South Korea will gradually phase out the anti-trust regulator's exclusive right to file complaints against a company for any fair trade violation, the head of regulator said Monday, in an apparent attempt to hold companies more accountable.

Under the Fair Trade Act, the Fair Trade Commission is the only entity that can bring a fair trade case to court through the state prosecutors' office. The law is aimed at preventing a flood of lawsuits being filed against firms by individuals and civic groups, which the business community claims could hurt normal operations.

"The exclusive right to file a complaint could be abolished within the term of the incumbent government," FTC Chairman Kim Sang-jo told a group of business executives earlier in the day. President Moon Jae-in who took office May will serve his single five-year term until 2022.

Kim Sang-jo, chairman of the Fair Trade Commission, speaks to a group of business executives in a meeting at the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry in central Seoul on July 17, 2017. (Yonhap) Kim Sang-jo, chairman of the Fair Trade Commission, speaks to a group of business executives in a meeting at the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry in central Seoul on July 17, 2017. (Yonhap)

Last month, Moon's policy advisory panel said that the government will abolish the FTC's exclusive right to file a complaint with prosecutors for any fair trade violation within Moon's term.

Touching on shared growth between conglomerates and smaller businesses, Kim said he will pursue reform in a way that is sustainable and cannot be rolled back.

South Korea has been trying to create a level playing field for small and medium-sized companies in a country where family-controlled conglomerates known as chaebol have dominated the economy for decades.

Kim, a former civic activist, also pressed business executives to boost transparency of their corporate governance and said the reform of chaebol should be made in a way that could improve lives of nonregular workers, owners of mom-and-pop stores and subcontractors.

entropy@yna.co.kr

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