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Legal Updates on Online Platform Regulations - Ministry of Science and ICT Announces the “Development Plan for Digital Platforms”


On December 29, 2022, the government, led by the Ministry of Science and ICT (“MSIT”) announced the “Development Plan for Digital Platforms” (the “Development Plan”) to create an innovative and fair environment for platforms.  Relevant ministries release key business plans for 2023, which include key policy goals and tasks to be accomplished.  Apart from such ministerial-level plans, however, the Development Plan, which is a comprehensive plan that lists out the key tasks to be carried out in the digital platform sector, was published as a follow-up to the New York Initiative announced by President Yoon Suk-Yeol on September 21, 2022. 

To date, the government has been engaging in continuous discussions over “self-regulation” of platforms.  On July 6 and December 23, 2022, the government held meetings of the Pan-governmental Platform Policy Council (hereinafter the “Policy Council”) to discuss: (i) measures to create legal grounds/systems for self-regulation through the Task Force on Law and Regimes under the Platform Self-Regulation Committee, administered by the MSIT; and (ii) setting agendas for self-regulation through the four sub-committees under the Platform Self-Regulation Committee (i.e., superior-subordinate relations, consumers/users, data/AI, and ESG).  As the Development Plan, contains a variety of policies that apply to platforms, including self-regulation, it is advisable to closely follow and understand its details.  

The Development Plan is summarized as follows.

Three Principles and Strategies

Nine Key Tasks

Innovation and Global
Fostering a world-leading platform industry 

①   Enhance the competitiveness of core platform technologies.
②   Support the continuous emergence and growth of innovative platforms.
③   Globalization of the platform environment.

Autonomy and Fairness”
Establish fair market order

④   Ensure effective operation of self-regulation led by the private sector.
⑤   Ensure a level playing field.
⑥   Create a trustworthy platform technology environment.

Trust and Embrace
Create a healthy platform society

⑦   Create an environment where users can comfortably use platforms.
⑧   Create an environment of mutual growth among small businesses and individual entrepreneurs.
⑨   Lay a foundation for new digital order.


A number of the above nine key tasks have the potential to directly impact broadcasting and telecommunications service providers as elaborated below.

Key Tasks


②   Support the continuous emergence and growth of innovative platforms

  • Remove regulatory barriers and resolve conflicts: Implement adjustments and regulatory improvements based on empirical data through regulatory sandbox or dispute resolution tribunals over platform services that are prevented from being released in the market due to conflict of interests between existing and emerging industry sectors.

④   Ensure effective operation of self-regulation led by the private sector

  • Support self-regulation: Ensure that platforms can effectively implement self-regulation by: (i) establishing a legal basis (such as amending the Telecommunications Business Act) to support the Platform Self-regulation Committee; (ii) establishing a code of self-regulation for each industry and sector; and (ⅲ) increasing incentives for platforms participating in self-regulation (such as amending the Fair Trade Law).

  • Management of self-regulation: Evaluate the performance of self-regulation and prepare follow-up measures through the Policy Council, and strengthen policy support through a systemized status inquiry over platforms.

⑤   Ensure a level playing field

  • Monopoly regulation: Establish “monopoly review guidelines” and amend the Merger Review Guidelines reflecting the characteristics of platforms, to more rigorously address abuse of market dominance and reckless expansion by giant platforms.  There is a need to monitor the activities and legislative direction of the Korea Fair Trade Commission. 

  • App market: Conduct market surveys and improve existing systems to promote competition within the app market.

  • Internet network usage fees: In determining the Internet network usage fees, comply with the principles agreed between the contracting parties regarding the cost sharing principles over network use, and degree and details of such cost sharing.  Point out the need to take into consideration the efforts and contributions made by CPs for the development of networks and the necessity to build a cooperative relationship between ISPs and CPs.  Review, examine and pursue methods (e.g., mediation) to resolve disputes between businesses if negotiations become infeasible.

⑥   Create a trustworthy platform technology environment

  • AI: Through the Self-regulation Committee, establish: (i) recommendations to improve the transparency of platform search and recommendation services regarding standards for determining exposure results, rankings, etc. and (ii) a comprehensive legal system to address social concerns over platforms’ use of AI technology.  Need to monitor the possibility of introduction of regulations similar to the Online Platform Act.

  • Data: Prepare measures to ensure access to data possessed by platforms by vendors operating businesses on platforms.

⑦   Create an environment where users can comfortably use platforms

  • Disaster management: Require data centers and value-added telecommunications business operators of a certain size to comply with disaster management obligations.  Lay a foundation to ensure stable platform services through measures to improve their survivability and stability, such as decentralization and multiplexing of facilities.  Need to monitor the possibility of introducing additional regulation in addition to the amendment of three related laws following a recent fire outbreak at a major data center.

  • Duty to protect users: Require platforms to notify users of information on damage relief measures in the event of a service failure.

  • Personal information: Prepare standards for the safe use of personal information in sectors closely related to daily livelihood of citizens.

⑨   Lay a foundation for new digital order

  • Universal rights in the digital space: Establish the “Digital Bill of Rights (tentatively named),” prescribing a set of basic principles to guarantee citizens’ basic rights in the digital world.  Operate a “Digital Society,” a public forum where people can discuss new issues arising in the digital society.

  • Create social value: Establish and promote eight key principles to improve social value of platforms (expansion of open connectivity, pursuit of coevolution, strengthen inclusivity, response to social problems, expansion of opportunities, establishment of trust procedures, promotion of diversity, and improvement of safety).


The government announced that in order to ensure an effective implementation of the Development Plan, it plans to regularly check the status of implementing the Development Plan through the Policy Council and further cooperate with the private sector, such as by supporting the Platform Self-regulation Committee.

As relevant ministries will make and implement specific action plans based on key policies of the Development Plan, businesses should closely monitor such action plans and the ministries/agencies’ progress status and schedule of implementation.  In particular, considering that the Development Plan effectively includes various regulations to specifically regulate platforms in addition to various measures to support platforms, it is advisable to proactively monitor relevant industry trends and the possibility of introduction of additional regulations and obligations.


[Korean Version]