2. Are government administrative agencies considered enterprises under Article 2 of the Fair Trade Act? Should the agencies be regulated by the Fair Trade Act when engaging in private economic activities?
1.Administrative agencies are organs that act externally on behalf of the state or of public juristic persons such as local autonomous organizations. Within its scope of authority, such an agency may act in its own name on behalf of the juristic person of which it is part. It is considered an entity capable of adopting independent action. Whether an administrative agency is considered an enterprise as referred to in Article 2 of this Act depends on whether the agency at issue is exercising public powers or engaging in private economic activity:
(1)When an administrative agency is exercising public powers or taking actions under a particular public law as a national administrative entity rather than providing goods and services and engaging in trade, such acts are inconsistent with this Act’s defining criteria for an enterprise. In this context, the agency is not considered an "enterprise" as referred to in Article 2.
(2)However, when an administrative agency acting in an independent capacity engages in ordinary trading or economic activity under a particular private law, it is governed by the provisions of this Act just like any ordinary privately operated enterprise. It shall be interpreted in this way so as to ensure fair trade and competitive opportunity for its trading counterparts and competitors.
2.When an administrative agency acts according to private law to provide a product or service of economic value or collect a fee for the product or service it provides, whether the demand exists when the product or service is provided, such conduct is subject to the regulation of the Fair Trade Act. Furthermore, if an administrative agency commissions a private or public institution to act according to private law to provide a product or service of economic value, such conduct is also subject to the regulation of the Fair Trade Act whether the demand occurs when the product or service is provided.
Relevant article(s) of law: Fair Trade Act, Article 2