Korean Merger Control and the Korean FTC

The Monopoly Regulation & Fair Trade Act of Korea (Fair Trade Act of Korea) is the main regulation governing mergers and acquisitions in Korea.  In the majority of cases, reporting and approval is not required for a target company with a yearly turnover of less than KRW 20 billion.

The specific jurisdictional thresholds shall be addressed in a followup article.  This article is intended to, simply, provide a list of the main Merger Control issues .  A more substantive article shall follow.

The following types of transactions are required to be reported and approved, in most cases, by the Fair Trade Commission of Korea (“KFTC”).

  1. Purchase of 15% of the shares of a listed domestic company;
  2. Purchase of 20% of the shares of a non-listed company;
  3. Establishment of a joint venture or increasing shareholdings to meet the thresholds in 1 or 2 above;
  4. Merger with a company; or
  5. Purchase of all or most of the fixed assets of a target.
    (Please don’t forget the jurisdictional threshold of KRW 20 billion. Thus, the majority of M & As in Korea are not required to report to the KFTC.

Korea, also, requires registration and approval, in most cases, when a director shall serve on the target company and the acquiring company’s board of directors.

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