Antitrust watchdog chief to share competition policies with European counterparts

By Shin Ji-hye
  • Published : Mar 11, 2019 - 15:20
  • Updated : Mar 11, 2019 - 17:03

The Korean Fair Trade Commission chief is slated to share the nation’s competition policies and law enforcement with European nations during his seven-day trip to the continent this week.

During his stay, Kim Sang-jo is slated to have a bilateral meeting with the European Union’s top antitrust official, give a keynote speech at the International Workshop on Competition Policy in Serbia and participate as a speaker at the International Conference on Competition held in Berlin.

On Sunday, Kim Sang-jo left for Belgium for a bilateral meeting with the EU’s top antitrust official, Johannes Laitenberger. They shared the latest law enforcement and policies and how to boost joint investigation at the working level, according to the Korean FTC on Monday. 

FTC Chief Kim Sang-jo (Yonhap)

On Tuesday, Kim will give a keynote speech at the International Workshop on Competition Policy, which is hosted by the Korea FTC. The workshop has taken place since 1996 with the aim of sharing the nation’s competition policy and execution know-how with other nations. This year, the commission chose Serbia at its request. This is the second time the workshop is being held outside Korea, according to authorities.

During the workshop, Kim is slated to present the unique economic conditions and social background that prompted Korea’s FTC to take charge of conglomerate policies. Competition officials and related specialists from Serbia and other Balkan regions, such as Macedonia, are slated to participate in the workshop.

On Thursday, Kim will join as a speaker during the first session of the International Conference on Competition held in Berlin. The conference organized by the Federal Cartel Office of Germany has taken place since 1982 with high-ranking officials related to competition in 60 nations, including the US, EU, UK and France.

Under the theme of “Global market power on the rise -- big, bad and beautiful?” the first session will be attended by William Kovacic, a professor at George Washington University, Tembinkosi Bonakele, commissioner of the South African Competition Commission, Ulrich Nussbaum, state secretary at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs, and Andrew Tyrie, new chief at the UK Competition and Markets Authority.

The participants will discuss whether conventional competition laws can still be effective amid growing influence of global companies and growing questions over whether stronger control is needed to contain them.

The Korean antitrust watchdog leader will point to new ways of unfair practices not seen in the past: price discrimination, algorithm collusion and winner-take-all outcomes as a result of big data and network effect.

Kim plans to say that if the government takes too cautious an attitude when conventional competition laws and analytical techniques are no longer effective amid the “fourth industrial revolution” where all economic conditions are changing quickly, the market can reach a state that cannot be rectified.

In order to prevent the overuse of global market dominance in the future industry, he will argue that joint efforts are needed from the realms of politics, law and administration, according to the Korean FTC.

By Shin Ji-hye (