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South Korea's FTC Fines Bar Associations $1.5 Million Each for Banning Legal Advice App

Photo by Tingey Injury Law Firm / Unsplash

South Korea’s Fair Trade Commission (FTC) has fined the Korean Bar Association (KBA) and Seoul Bar Association (SBA) KRW 1 billion ($770 million) each for banning LawTalk.

This legal advice app violates fair competition.

The FTC fined the associations for “restricting the business activities” of their member lawyers, violating the country’s Fair Trade Act.

The FTC also ordered the associations to cease forcing lawyers to opt out of using the app.

However, the associations claimed that allowing member lawyers to join the app would violate the Rules of Practice regarding advertising.

LawTalk, launched in 2014 by Law & Company, provides a mobile app that enables users to connect with attorneys.

The bar associations warned of further legal action through the filing of a jurisdictional dispute with the Constitutional Court.

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