Logger Script

9 Jul 2013

Successful Resolution of KFTC Investigation into Potential Unfair Trade Conduct by KT

KT and Skylife, in 2009, launched a product called ‘OTS" (Olleh TV Skylife), which was created by combining KT"s IPTV service and Skylife"s satellite broadcasting service. Subsequently, in 2011, the Korea Cable Television & Telecommunications Association (KCTTA) submitted a complaint to the KFTC alleging that KT was involved in unfair trade activities and illegal loans, as well as abuse of market-dominance, by marketing the OTS product.

Yulchon"s Antitrust and Telecommunications, Media & Technology (TMT) practice groups worked together to defend KT against such allegations. As a result, KT was cleared of all of the antitrust violations alleged by the KCTTA.

Yulchon"s key argument in this case was that (1) OTS is a new product in which KT and Skylife"s technical expertise were joined to combine two different existing services and to provide such services more efficiently; and (2) the consumer enjoys the benefits of the OTS product such as low price, easy access, and more channel options. Yulchon also emphasized that OTS was launched with the Korea Communications Commission"s (KCC) approval under the relevant law, and thus, there is no valid ground for the KCTTA to accuse KT of illegal anticompetitive conduct.

By successfully defending KT in this case, in addition to obtaining the previous favorable KCC ruling in April 2012 where OTS was, in fact, found to be a valid product, Yulchon played a major role in ending the controversy over the validity of OTS.

This case is the first formal decision by the KFTC ruling that a product combining IPTV services and satellite broadcasting services is legally valid. This establishes a precedent to guide future decisions concerning the validity of a combined or collaborative product in the broadcasting and communications industry under Korean competition law.

This case was directed by Attorney Tae Hyeon Kim of the litigation team. Other attorneys who participated in this case are Seung Hyuck Han and Seung Min Lee with the antitrust group, Sun Joo Kang in the public defense contract team.

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