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The Korea Fair Trade Commission
) is South Korea's regulatory authority for economic competition
Competition is a contest between individuals, groups, animals, etc. for territory, a niche, or a location of resources. It arises whenever two and only two strive for a goal which cannot be shared. Competition occurs naturally between living organisms which co-exist in the same environment. For...
. It was established in 1981 within the Economic Planning Board. The establishing law was the Monopoly Regulation and Fair Trade Act (MRFTA), Law No. 3320, December 31, 1980. In 1994, the Fair Trade Commission and its Secretariat were separated from the Economic Planning Board as an independent vice ministerial-level, central administrative organization. In 1996, the status of the KFTC Chairman was elevated from vice-ministerial to ministerial level.
The original KFTC had five commissioners from 1981 to 1990. This was increased to seven commissioners from 1990 to 1997. Since 1997 the KFTC has had nine commissioners, which includes a Chairman, a Vice-Chairman, and three other standing commissioners. There are four non-standing commissioners. The KFTC is supported in its work by a Secretariat.
The current KFTC Chairman is Dong Su Kim.
Apart from the MRFTA, the KFTC enforces the following statutes:
- Adhesion Contract Act, Law No. 3922, December 31, 1986.
- Fair Labelling and Advertising Act, Law No. 5814, February 5, 1999.
- Omnibus Cartel Repeal Act, Law No. 5815, February 5, 1999.
- Door-to-Door Sales Act, Law No. 4481, December 31, 1991.
- Installment Transactions Act, Law No. 4480, December 31, 1991.
- Fair Subcontract Transactions Act, Law No. 3799, December 31, 1984.
- Fair Franchise Transactions Act, Law No. 6704, May 13, 2002.
- Consumer Protection in Electronic Commerce Act, Law No. 6687, March 30, 2002.
On December 7, 2005, the KFTC reached the decision to order Microsoft Corporation and Microsoft Korea, inter alia, to unbundle certain tied products, including Windows Media Player
Windows Media Player is a media player and media library application developed by Microsoft that is used for playing audio, video and viewing images on personal computers running the Microsoft Windows operating system, as well as on Pocket PC and Windows Mobile-based devices...
and MSN Messenger, and to impose surcharges amounting to 33 billion won (31 million US dollars) for violation of the Monopoly Regulation and Fair Trade Act (MRFTA), including the abuse of market dominant position provision. On October 16th, 2007, the Associated Press reported that Microsoft has stopped appealing the December 2005 decision and has withdrawn the appeal.
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