연구보고서 공정거래관련 법령의 개선방안 2003.03.31
* 이 내용은 본 보고서 '요약' 부분의 앞 부분에서 발췌한 것입니다.
경쟁적 시장의 힘이 효율적 자원이용과 경제발전을 위한 가장 효과적이고 비차별적인
수단이 된다는 인식하에 우리나라에서도 1980년 12월 "독점규제및공정거래에관한법률"(공정거래법)을
제정하고 공정거래법의 시행을 위해 공정거래위원회를 설립 운영하여 왔다. 이후
공정거래위원회는 공정거래법 이외에 "약관의규제에관한법률"(약관규제법),
등을 관장하면서 시장경쟁의 규칙을 제시하고 사업자간 경쟁을 촉진함으로써 시장의
효율적 작동을 도모하려는 노력을 경주해 왔다.
공정거래관련 법령은 경제환경변화에 대응하여 꾸준히 진화해왔지만 경제위기를
겪고 난 후의 국내외 경제여건과 기업환경은 종전과 크게 달라져 있다. 따라서 공정거래정책이
경쟁정책으로서 갖추어야 할 기본개념과 전제, 추구하는 목적 및 현실경제현상에
대한 인식의 타당성 등 공정거래정책의 지적 기반과 기본문제들을 재고찰해 볼 필요가
있다. 이러한 관점에서 지난 20여년간 법운용 경험을 기반으로 향후 공정거래정책의
장기발전을 모색하면서 공정거래관련 법체계의 개선방향을 모색하는 것은 매우 의미
지난 20여년간 공정거래법의 법집행 실적을 보면 경제력집중의 완화와 거래관계의
공정화에 비하여 기업결합규제와 같은 전통적인 경쟁정책적 법집행은 상대적으로
미흡한 측면이 있다. 거래의 공정화에 관해서도 법집행의 초점이 사업자간의 불공정거래행위에
두어지는 경향이 있어서 대소비자관련 부당한 거래에 대한 규제는 표시·광고와
약관분야를 위주로 이루어져 왔다.
앞으로 독과점규제, 기업결합규제 등 경쟁정책영역에서 공정거래법의 법집행 노력이
보다 강화될 필요가 있다. 또한 거래의 공정화에 관한 법률의 개념과 구제수단을
보다 명료화함으로써 피규제자들의 예측력과 법집행의 일관성을 제고하고 공정거래법이
사업자간의 경쟁제한행위뿐만 아니라 대소비자관련 부당한 거래를 공공정책 차원에서
규제할 수 있는 법률임을 명시함으로써 경제효율 및 소비자후생의 증진이라는 공정거래정책의
궁극적 목적을 보다 실효성 있게 달성할 수 있도록 해야 할 것이다.
본 연구에서는 새로운 경제환경이 요구하는 공정거래관련 법령의 개선사항들을
도출하고 이를 토대로 공정위 소관 법령들에 대하여 거래유형별 포괄범위 및 규제기준,
구제수단 등을 확대하고 명료화하기 위한 법체계 보완방안을 제시하고자 한다. 본
연구를 통해 현 공정거래관련 법령의 관할범위를 재검토하고 중복 또는 사각지대를
없애며, 거래유형별 위법성 기준과 요건을 명료화하여 법령들간의 잠재적 상충 및
괴리요소를 파악하고 개선하고자 한다. 또한 공정거래법상 거래유형별 규제기준의
세부내용 및 구성요건을 분석하여 법집행의 실효성 강화를 위한 법령별, 행위유형별
시정·구제수단 개선방안도 제시한다. 시행방안을 제시함에 있어서 필요한
경우 외국의 입법례, 관련 법제의 내용, 집행수단 및 방식, 운용경험과 현황 등도
1. Background and Purpose
In 2001, Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) asked KDI to prepare a comprehensive
set of proposed amendments to Monopoly Regulation and Fair Trade Act (MRFTA)
and other consumer protection laws that KFTC has the authority of enforcement1)
. MRFTA, the Korean antitrust law was enacted in 1980 and the Year 2001 was
the 20th anniversary of Korean antitrust laws. Based on 20 years experience
of antitrust law enforcement, KFTC would like to pursue a major revision of
antitrust laws to enhance their effectiveness in the next 10 years and beyond.
The antitrust enforcement in Korea has been focused on restraining the economic
power concentration (so-called chaebol regulation) and regulating unfair business
practices. Unfair business practices are basically business-to-business unfair
trade rather than business-to-consumer problems. Unfair trade regulations by
MRFTA were in line with regulating large conglomerates and protecting small
and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). With strong industrial policy tradition
in Korea, KFTC has not been active in preventing anticompetitive mergers, which
is one of the most frequently enforced areas of competition policy in other
countries like United States and EU. However, Korea's economic environment and
institutional infrastructure has been changed significantly since the enactment
of MRFTA, especially after the economic crisis2) . MRFTA and other antitrust
laws in Korea are about to restructure into more competition policy oriented
Between 2001 and 2002, working closely with KFTC, the Corporate Affairs and
Competition Policy Division of KDI led the research team of economists and lawyers
that crafted a set of amendment proposals. The outcome of this endeavor has
resulted the abovementioned book of Study on Korean Antitrust Laws and Regulations:
Looking for Effectiveness Enhancing Amendment Proposals.
In the long run, regulating large conglomerates (chaebols) by antitrust laws
is expected to phase out as monitoring role of each part of corporate governance
intensifies both inside and outside the firm. For a consistent and effective
competition policy, the MRFTA needs to be based on the concept of market power
and aim to promote economic efficiency by strengthening competitive forces.
KFTC's coverage and remedies to consumer protection need to be expanded and
(1) Mergers and Acquisition
Only 12 out of 5506 reported large scaled M&A between 1981 and 2000 were
challenged as anti-competitive. Many seemingly anti-competitive large scale
mergers were allowed including the SKT-ShinSegi Telcom merger and the merger
between LG Semiconductor and Hyundai Semiconductor (later became Hynix ). Weak
M&A regulation is due to loose concept of anti-competitiveness and wide
exceptions. This study suggests that the MRFTA applies more stringent standards
in evaluating efficiency enhancing argument and failing company argument as
exceptions to anti-competitiveness. Efficiency enhancing effect should be merger-specific
and should be proved to benefit consumers in terms of lower price, higher quality,
and better services rather than simple cost savings to the merging parties.
Ambiguous concepts such as "national-wide efficiency enhancing effect"
should be abolished3) . Ideas to clarify the standard of failing company were
discussed. The study also provides different approach to improve the concept
of "significantly restricting competition". Expansion of pre-notification
system and improvement in notification standards are recommended. Amendment
proposals to accommodate the above ideas (Article 7 and 12 of MRFTA) were provided.
Cartel enforcement in Korea is relatively strong especially since 1990s.
Through Omnibus Cartel Repeal Act of 1999, many exempted cartels by individual
act were gone. As of 2002, there was no approved cartel. This study suggests
ideas of fine-tuning the Cartel regulations including the proof of liability,
legal standard for illegal cartels, and the amount of surcharges to price-fixing
and other cartel behaviors. Amendment proposals on Article 19, 22, and 58 of
the MRFTA were suggested.
(3) Monopolization and Abuse of Monopoly Power
Monopoly position itself is not illegal if it was attained through innovation
and diligence. Competition laws usually prevent abuse of monopoly power including
monopolization (maintaining monopoly position) and attempt to monopoly (acquiring
monopoly position) by excluding competitors or other illegal behaviors. The
Article 3-2 of the MRFTA regulates the abuse of market dominant position. It
does not distinguish abuse of monopoly power such as abusive pricing from maintaining
monopoly position by excluding behaviors and it does not cover acquiring monopoly
position. This study suggests to divide the monopoly regulation into two parts,
maintaining monopoly and exploitive abuse of monopoly power. Issues concerning
the overlapping between monopoly regulation and regulation of unfair trade practices
(Article 23 of MRFTA) were discussed4) . Feasibility and necessity of introducing
structural remedy into monopolization regulation were also examined.
(4) Unfair Trade Practices
The Article 23 of the MRFTA prohibits unfair trade practices5) . The standard
of illegality is defined as "threatening to impair fair trade" but
it is not clear enough and each subparagraph lists the types of illegal unfair
trade practices which restrain competition. Article 23 is also supposed to cover
consumer protection but is not explicit enough to discipline the trade between
firms and consumers and hence it is limited to be a consumer protection law.
In this study, instead of depending of types of behaviors, the standards of
illegality has been re-established by two concepts such as "illegal restraint
of trade" between firms and "deceptive or unfair trade practices"
which applies both between firms and between producer and consumer. The former
based on anti-competitiveness and efficiency and the latter based on methods
and conditions of trades. This study also suggests introducing trade rule making
role of KFTC in Article 23 so that KFTC could respond appropriately to the changing
patterns of consumer fraud. By introducing this umbrella article of consumer
protection in MRFTA, the coverage of consumer protection would be improved.
(5) Consumer Protection
Four laws including the Fair Labeling and Advertising Act, the Contract Compliance
Act, the Installment Transaction Act, and the Door-to-Door Sales Act were reviewed
and analyzed. Amendment proposals to improve these consumer protection laws
under the jurisdiction of KFTC were provided. Economic rationality and legal
consistency of introducing new consumer remedies such as consent order and Parens
Patriae action were also examined6) .
This study examined the overall coverage and remedies of Korean antitrust
laws to enhance the consistency and effectiveness of the antitrust enforcement.
Ways to eliminate loopholes and disparities in coverage were suggested. Issues
on introducing new remedies in consumer protection area had been thoroughly
analyzed and discussed. Legal and economic standards of liability were clarified
and improved. The comprehensive set of amendment proposals were displayed with
economic and legal interpretations. Comparisons between the existing laws and
the amendment proposals has been summarized and tabulated.
Based on this study, KFTC is planning to submit antitrust law amendment proposals
in 2004. We hope this study provoke further discussions and contributions of
experts to the evolution of Korean antitrust laws.
1) The other consumer protection laws include the Fair Labeling and Advertising
Act, the Contract Compliance Act, the Installment Transaction Act, and the Door-to-Door
2) Until the end of 2001, MRFTA had been amended ten times. Those amendments
were done piecemeal-wise but our mission was to overview antitrust laws altogether
to restructure and re-clarify.
3) At present, the efficiency enhancing effect includes not only merge-specific
efficiency but also employment promotion, regional development, stable supply
of energy, etc.
4) For example, vertical restraint, predatory pricing, other excluding behaviors
are regulated both in Article 3-2 and Article 23.
5) The concept of "unfair trade" in Section 23 of Korean antitrust
law is quite different from that of American FTC Act Section 5. FTC Act Section
5 says that the "unfair method of competition " or "unfair or
deceptive acts or practices" is unlawful and this section is basically
enforced as a consumer protection clause. However, Korean unfair trade regulation
is basically regulation on business to business transactions. The Article 23
of MRFTA is also utilized as a tool of chaebol regulations because it includes
transfer pricing regulation to prevent cross subsidizing among subsidiaries
of chaebols. If prices of the internal transactions among subsidiaries of chaebols
were higher than market prices, then those transactions are "unfair trade".
Also, in the past before it became an independent Act, the Fair Labeling and
Advertisement regulation was under this article 23 of MRFTA.
6) Korea has not introduced class action yet. A proposal to introduce class
action limited to Security Transaction Law is pending.
제1장 연구의 목적 및 구성
제4장 시장지배적지위의 남용금지
제5장 경제력집중 규제 및 기업분할 청구제
제6장 불공정거래행위에 관한 연구
제Ⅱ부 소비자관련 법제
제7장 소비자보호법제의 경제적 검토: 적용범위를 중심으로
제8장 소비자보호법제의 법리적 검토: 구제수단을 중심으로
제9장 소비자보호법제 개선방안
제10장 소비자보호 관련법상 피해구제제도
부록(법률 개정안의 예시)
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