ABSTRACT: Since the turn of the century, an increasing number of competition regimes have adopted ‘settlement’ or ‘commitment’ procedures in an effort to promote flexible and streamlined antitrust enforcement. Korea is one such regime to have introduced a commitment mechanism in the past decade. Yet, the first 7 years of the MRFTA regime have only given rise to 4 competition-based consent decisions. Considering the successful uptake of commitment procedures in numerous other jurisdictions and their attractiveness to both competition authorities and businesses alike, we might therefore ask why Korea’s own procedure has yet to be actively utilised. This paper conducts a comparative legal study between the commitment regime in Korea and its counterpart regimes in the United States and the European Union. Of particular note is the practical significance of a unique condition within Korea’s commitment procedure which requires an applicant to propose consumer damage relief as a remedy within their submission. The paper reviews the effect that this condition has had on utilisation of the procedure and suggests how it can operate in harmony with other aims of the consent decision mechanism in the future.
CITATION: Kim, D, (2018) Commitment Decisions in the Antitrust Enforcement of Korea: A Comparative Study with the Settlement systems of the US and the EU, CCP Working Paper 18-14