I OVERVIEW

The past year has been busy for the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC).

Cartel enforcement under the Act on Prohibition of Private Monopolisation and Maintenance of Fair Trade (AMA) has been an important part of the JFTC's enforcement actions. Aggressive enforcement actions were taken against domestic cartels (which mainly consisted of bid rigging in various industry sectors including the construction sector) as well as against an international cartel involving price fixing of hard disc drive suspensions.

While the JFTC has recently been focusing on various industry sectors including IT and the public utility industry (e.g., energy and agriculture), it is the enforcement in the IT industry that was remarkable in the previous year. In a number of these cases the investigations were closed following voluntary remedial measures taken by the relevant IT business operators.

The JFTC maintained a steady level of merger control cases. This is evident from the number of notifications filed overall and of those involving transactions with foreign companies, as well by the limited number of cases reviewed in Phase II. Having said that, in the past year, the JFTC imposed remedies in several cases cleared. It was notable in the previous year that the JFTC issued a clearance decision with conditions in a long-running case regarding the integration between regional banks in the Kyushu area (Fukuoka Financial Group's share acquisition of Eighteenth Bank).

In addition, the JFTC was particularly active in the actions or advocacy developed in specific policy areas. In addition to reports that may influence future enforcement (such as the report on human resources and the competition policy by the Competition Policy Research Centre (CPRC)), the JFTC has shown a particularly strong interest in digital platforms and their market power. In this context, the JFTC is intending to consider possible rules that could be established in collaboration with other ministries of the Japanese government and through conducting market inquiries. Another important focus of the JFTC has been its preparation of a draft legislation to reform the surcharge system.

II CARTELS

The JFTC may issue a cease-and-desist order or a surcharge payment order, or both, by way of administrative sanctions for violations of the AMA.

Cease-and-desist orders aim to stop illegal acts, restore an appropriate competitive environment, and prevent a recurrence of such violations of the AMA by ordering the relevant party or parties to cease the actions in question and to take preventive measures. In addition to cease-and-desist orders, surcharges may be imposed in cases involving cartels and bid rigging. In 2018, the JFTC issued cease-and-desist orders for 15 cartel or bid-rigging cases and the total amount of surcharges imposed for 14 cases in 2018 was approximately ¥2.2 billion, which is significantly lower than the total surcharges of ¥7.5 billion in the preceding year. The highest surcharge (¥1.1 billion) in 2018 was imposed in the price-fixing cartel concerning hard disc drive suspensions.

Moreover, the JFTC has a policy to seek criminal penalties in the following cases: (1) in serious cases, which are considered to have widespread impact on people's welfare; and (2) when firms or industries are repeat offenders, or have not complied with administrative measures issued by the JFTC.2 In 2018, the JFTC made a criminal accusation against construction companies involved in a bid-rigging case related to a magnetic-levitation train project.

i Significant cases

Cartel for suspensions used in hard disc drives3

On 9 February 2018, the JFTC issued cease-and-desist orders and imposed surcharges (¥1,076 million in total) on two manufacturers of suspensions used in hard disc drives for participating in a cartel.

From at least 2013 to 2016, NHK Spring Co, Ltd and its Hong Kong-based subsidiary (NAT) exchanged competitively sensitive information such as sales prices of suspensions and market shares, and agreed with TDK Corporation and its Hong Kong (SAE) and Thai (MPT) subsidiaries to maintain sales prices. The coordination took place with a view to obtaining and maintaining market shares and profits in relation to suspensions for hard disc drives sold to Toshiba Corporation, which was the only hard disc drives manufacturer in Japan at that time.

NHK Spring had collaborated closely with TDK. For instance, SAE purchased suspensions from NHK Springs, and SAE made an investment in NAT. However, NHK Spring and TDK competed with each other in the market for hard disc drive suspensions due to TDK's acquisition of MPT. NHK Spring and TDK decided to cooperate with one another in order to better compete with overseas suspension manufacturers. Under this mutual cooperation, from 2009 Toshiba started to purchase suspensions from NHK Spring and TDK. Since around 2013, the two company groups supplied to Toshiba most of its suspension purchase volume requirements.

While in addition to the price-fixing agreement, an effect of restricting competition needs to also be established in order to find an infringement of the AMA, the JFTC concluded that competition was restricted through the agreement to maintain prices and that this took place from at least 2013 when the two-company group covered most of Toshiba's demand for suspensions even though they had reached the price-fixing agreement around 2007 when TDK started to plan the acquisition of MPT.

TDK and its subsidiaries were exempted from surcharges and NHK Spring was granted a 30 per cent reduction in surcharges as they applied for leniency.

Bid-rigging case related to a magnetic-levitation train project

In December 2017, the JFTC in cooperation with Japanese prosecutors conducted inspections of four construction companies over alleged bid rigging related to a magnetic-levitation train project. These four companies were suspected to have coordinated bids to win 15 out of 22 contracts for a magnetic-levitation train project and each won three or four contracts. Two of the four companies (Obayashi Corporation and Shimizu Corporation) applied for leniency after the JFTC's dawn raids. On 23 March 2018, the JFTC made a criminal accusation against the four construction companies and two executives from Taisei Corporation and Kajima Corporation.4 This case was considered a serious case that would have a broad impact on people's welfare since (1) the magnetic-levitation train project was conducted on a large scale and involved certain public aspects including financial support form the government, and (2) the relevant construction companies had already previously received criminal and administrative penalties for bid rigging.

In October 2018, the Tokyo District Court imposed fines of ¥200 million and ¥180 million on Obayashi and Shimizu, respectively. Obayashi and Shimizu reported to the JFTC their involvement in the bid-rigging conduct and admitted the same during the trials. Taisei and Kajima as well as their two executives, on the other hand, denied their involvement in the conduct, and their court hearings started in February 2019 and have continued for several months.

ii Trends, developments and strategies

Cartel enforcement continues to be a top priority for the JFTC. While cartel or bid-rigging cases for which cease-and-desist orders and surcharge payment orders were issued by the JFTC in 2018 related to domestic markets in Japan (other than the above cartel case for hard disc drive suspensions), the JFTC maintains a close relationship with authorities in other jurisdictions dealing with international cartels.

iii Outlook

Reform of the surcharge system

The surcharge system in Japan, introduced in 1977 as an administrative sanction, aims to prevent violations of the AMA by imposing financial penalties for violations. While it has been amended several times since its introduction, increasing globalisation and complexity of business structures has led the JFTC to conduct a further review of the current surcharge system.

The JFTC therefore established a Study Group on the AMA in 2016 with the objective of re-evaluating the surcharge system and addressing problems with the current system. The Study Group issued its report5 in April 2017, identifying problems with the current system, and proposing future revisions of the surcharge system.

The main problems of the current system that the Study Group has identified are that the surcharge calculation methods are not flexible and that there are insufficient incentives for businesses to cooperate in investigations conducted by the authority. In order to resolve these problems, the report makes several proposals for reform, including revisions of the method for calculating surcharges, and amendments to the leniency policy in order to increase incentives to cooperate in investigations.

Between April and June 2017 the JFTC carried out a public consultation on the issues raised in the report. The JFTC then started preparing the submission of a bill to amend the AMA in 2018. However, the governing political party, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) pointed out the necessity of having discussions on the legalisation of attorney-client privilege, and the JFTC therefore decided to postpone the submission of the bill at that time.

Since January 2018, the JFTC continued to have discussions on attorney-client privilege with the relevant parties including the LDP, and it appears that a certain consensus has been reached on this. The JFTC is preparing to submit the bill to the Diet of Japan in 2019. The draft amendment of the AMA includes a new leniency programme and a new surcharge calculation method based on the level of a company's cooperation with a JFTC investigation. The attorney–client privilege is planned to be introduced in the rules under the provisions of the AMA for the purpose of making the new leniency programme more effective.

Bargaining system

In June 2018, a bargaining system was introduced in the Japanese criminal procedure, which is applied to certain types of crimes including violations of the AMA, such as cartels and bid rigging. Under the bargaining system, a prosecutor and an accused entity or individual may enter into an agreement under which the accused entity or individual cooperates to prove a third party's infringement by providing evidence or giving a statement and, in exchange for this cooperation, the prosecutor drops the case or imposes a lighter sentence on the cooperating entity or individual. While the first to apply for the leniency before the commencement of an investigation by the JFTC will be exempted from criminal prosecution, other companies or individuals who are suspected of antitrust infringements will need to consider the merits of participating in the new bargaining system.

III ANTITRUST: RESTRICTIVE AGREEMENTS AND DOMINANCE

The JFTC has also conducted investigations and enforced the law proactively in non-cartel cases (i.e., involving unfair trade practices such as abuse of superior bargaining position, especially in the IT and digital sectors). A contact hotline was set up in 2016 in such sectors, as well as in the agricultural and electricity and gas sectors, in order to gather information on conduct that may raise competition law issues. More than 100 contacts were received during the fiscal year ending March 2018. In 2018, the JFTC issued cease-and-desist orders in three non-cartel cases (relating to discriminatory treatments in a trade association and an agricultural cooperative association, and interference with a competitor's transaction). The JFTC also expressed strong concerns about major companies in the IT sector, as well as online platforms' activities, and probed several activities of such companies or platforms including Amazon, Airbnb and Apple on suspicion of infringing the AMA by abusing a superior bargaining position and exclusive dealing.

i Significant cases

Amazon case

According to the media, the JFTC raided Amazon Japan in March 2018, as it was suspected of having abused its superior bargaining position by requiring suppliers to bear the 'cooperation fees', which included a part of the discounting cost as well as the cost of updating the system. It would be difficult for the suppliers to refuse the requests from Amazon Japan, which has a strong position in the online retail market, and, as such, it may be considered as abusive conduct.

Previously, Amazon Japan was investigated from 2016 to 2017 on suspicion of restricting the business activities of sellers on the Amazon Marketplace by enforcing price parity clauses and selection parity clauses ('most favoured nation' clauses) in contracts. The JFTC closed the case in response to Amazon Japan's commitments to take prompt voluntary measures, including removing the clauses in question from the relevant contract to avoid a violation of the AMA.6

The investigation concerning the abuse of superior bargaining position started within one year of the case relating to MFN clauses being closed and it is ongoing.

Airbnb case

In October 2017, the JFTC raided Airbnb Japan, a Japanese subsidiary of a home-sharing platform, on the suspicion that it has restricted home management companies from doing business with Airbnb's competitors. These home management companies provide home lenders with a number of services such as communications with renters, management of reservations, or room cleaning.

Given the JFTC was concerned that such conduct might result in the exclusion of competitors from the market, during the JFTC's investigation, Airbnb Ireland UC and Airbnb Japan proposed a commitment to waive its rights to enforce these provisions. The JFTC determined that the proposed measures would address its concerns and decided in October 2018 to close its investigation in this case after confirming that such measures were complied with.7

Similar to the Airbnb case, the JFTC probed a Japanese online pet shop for dogs and cats, 'Minnano Pet Online', for suspected infringement of the AMA by restricting certain breeders from posting advertisement on other online pet shops. Minnano Pet Online reported to the JFTC the termination of these restrictions, and, as a result of this, the JFTC decided to close the investigation in May 2018.8

Apple case

In July 2018, the JFTC decided to close an investigation against Apple, which it had been conducting since 2016.9

Apple was suspected of restricting business activities of three domestic mobile network operators (MNOs), NTT Docomo, KDDI and SoftBank. This was allegedly done through the following clauses included in a sales agreement with the MNOs called 'the iPhone Agreement': (1) restrictions on the quantity of iPhones that the MNOs should place orders for with Apple Japan; (2) restrictions on the telecommunication service plan that the MNOs provided to iPhone users; (3) restrictions on the distribution in Japan of used iPhones that users traded with the MNOs; and (4) an obligation to provide subsidies that the MNOs and their sales agencies offered users purchasing iPhones. With regard to the above (1) through (3), the JFTC concluded that these provisions did not restrict MNOs' business activities since the relevant clauses were not compulsory and there was no penalty mechanism for failure to comply with the clauses. For the above (4), the MNOs and their sales agencies were required to provide subsidies to iPhone purchasers under the iPhone Agreement. The JFTC considered that such provision would have an effect of lessening competition between mobile telecommunication businesses by restricting the price reduction of telecommunication services and others.

Responding to the JFTC's concerns, Apple proposed to amend the iPhone Agreement to allow MNOs to offer iPhone purchasers a pricing plan for telecommunication services either with subsidies or without subsidies. After reviewing Apple's proposal, the JFTC determined that the proposed amendment would address the suspected violation of the AMA and decided to close the case.

Further, the media reported in August 2018 that the JFTC was investigating Apple on suspicion of hampering a competitor's dealing. In particular, in July 2017 Yahoo! Japan started a new online gaming service, which allowed users to play without downloading apps and would thus compete with Apple's App Store. Last autumn, however, Yahoo! suddenly cut its budget and ceased promotions for such services and, according to the media, this was due to pressure from Apple. It was said that Apple threatened Yahoo! Japan with a refusal to deal if it continued to expand the gaming service while Yahoo! Japan provides its apps through Apple's App Store. It appears the investigation is ongoing, although the JFTC has not made any announcements in respect of this case.

ii Trends, developments and strategies

Introduction of the Commitment Procedures

The amendment of the AMA introducing the Commitment Procedures came into effect on 30 December 2018 when the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) became effective. Under the CPTPP, member countries are required to 'authorise [their] national competition authorities to resolve alleged violations voluntarily by consent of the authority and the person subject to the enforcement action'. The Commitment Procedures allow the JFTC to close an investigation into suspected violations of the AMA following a commitment provided by the relevant party to the JFTC.

The JFTC issued guidelines on Commitment Procedures (Policies Concerning Commitment Procedures) on 26 September 2018. These were finalised after a public consultation conducted from July to August 2018. The guidelines include the basic framework for the Commitment Procedures, such as the scope of application and requirements of commitment measures to be submitted for approval, including typical examples such as cessation of the suspected violation, development of a compliance programme and amendments to contracts. The guidelines also clarify that Commitment Procedures are not to be applied to (1) hardcore cartels, including bid rigging and price fixing; (2) repeated suspected violations by the same entities within the previous 10 years; and (3) other vicious and serious suspected violation which would be subject to criminal prosecution.

Commitment Procedures enable competition law concerns to be solved swiftly and a potential anticompetitive conduct to be terminated. When the proposed commitment measures are approved by the JFTC, neither a cease-and-desist order nor a surcharge payment order will be issued to the suspected party.

Recently, the JFTC closed some of its investigations after the relevant suspected parties proposed voluntary remedies, such as the cases against Amazon in 2017, Airbnb and Apple as mentioned above. The Commitment Procedures may be applied to similar cases, such as private monopolisation or abuse of a superior bargaining position.

iii Outlook

Trade environment for digital platforms

The Japanese government intends to establish rules to deal with the rise of online platform businesses from a competition, information protection and consumer law perspective. In July 2018, three government agencies, the JFTC, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), and the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC), established a panel consisting of academics and practitioners specialised in competition, information protection and consumer law in order to consult on this matter. On 12 December 2018, following a public consultation, the panel published an interim report.10

The interim report first determined that digital platforms are likely to have a dominant or oligopolistic position due to concentration of data through network effects and scale of economy. It then reviewed several issues from each perspective. With regard to competition law, two issues were primarily addressed: (1) creating transparency to maintain fairness; and (2) implementing free and fair competition in the digital market. For the first point, as unclear transactional situations between digital platforms and their users might lead to anticompetitive practices, the interim report suggested that a large-scale comprehensive survey should be conducted to understand the current situation of digital platform businesses, and that a special unit should be established to perform research and analysis in this sector on a continuing basis. In relation to the second point, several matters were listed as needing further consideration, such as how network effects in multilateral markets or data accumulation would affect competition, and how mergers and acquisitions conducted by digital platforms should be assessed.

Following the framework11 announced by the JFTC, METI and MIC in accordance with the above interim report, the JFTC decided to launch a survey to analyse the current situation of digital platform businesses. In addition to a hotline set up in January 2019 to collect information relating to platforms' conduct, the JFTC plans to request information from users of digital platforms, by issuing an order under Article 40 of the AMA to gather information if necessary (this would be protected by non-disclosure agreements).

Survey on e-commerce

In January 2018, the JFTC launched a survey on consumer e-commerce to consider competition law issues arising out of business practices in this sector and their pro- and anticompetitive effects. A questionnaire was sent to around 4,000 online retailers, consumer goods manufacturers and distributors in order to gather information about online sales methods adopted by manufactures and distributors, transactional terms and conditions between manufactures and distributors, and current practices in online transactions. In addition, the JFTC conducted interviews of online mall operators as well as online retailers and manufacturers.

According to the report issued in January 2019, three major online mall operators have a leading position in the online mall market since 50 to 70 per cent of retailers sell their products on these websites and 60 to 85 per cent of consumers shopped on the websites of these three malls. It is also said that they may have a superior bargaining position vis-à-vis business partners. The JFTC stated that it is highly likely that competition law issues may arise if they exclude other online mall operators from the market or unfairly change transaction terms with retailers. Further, the survey found certain cases where about one in four retailers had received requests relating to sales prices from manufacturers, and where manufacturers somehow restricted online sales in order to maintain a brand image, which might be regarded as a violation of the AMA such as resale price maintenance and dealing on restrictive terms, respectively. The JFTC will continue to gather information in this sector and take strict enforcement measures for breaches of the AMA, particularly focusing on conduct of online mall operators.

Study group on business tie-up/collaboration

In December 2018 the CPRC, a research centre for the JFTC, established a study group on business tie-up/collaboration and started an analysis considering (1) systematic theories under the AMA surrounding business tie-up/collaborations reflecting recent practices; (2) individual or concrete considerations as per the categories of tie-up and collaboration (e.g., joint production, joint marketing, joint purchase, collaboration in logistics, joint R&D, collaboration in technologies, collaboration in standardisation); and (3) such types of tie-up or collaboration that have not been usual practice so far but are becoming more and more widely utilised. The study group is expected to publish a report in summer 2019.

IV SECTORAL COMPETITION: MARKET INVESTIGATIONS AND REGULATED INDUSTRIES

i Mobile phone market

The JFTC conducted a research study on competition law issues in the mobile phone market and announced the report in August 2016. In this report the JFTC indicated antitrust concerns in the markets for mobile phone devices, communication services and mobile apps.

In 2018, the JFTC carried out follow-up research and reviewed the activities of MNOs (i.e., NTT Docomo, KDDI and SoftBank) as well as the competition conditions for mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) by interviewing the relevant parties such as MNOs, MVNOs, sales agencies, and mobile phone device manufacturers. The report of this follow-up research was issued on 28 June and found that some methods or programmes conducted by MNOs may be problematic since they could result in an increase in switching costs for consumers or the difficulty of entry into the market of other mobile operators such as MVNOs, and thus impede competition in the mobile phone market. Such activities include the sales of handsets with telecommunication services and high cancellation fees.

With respect to a programme on the premise of trade-ins for handsets and re-entry of the same programme, called the 'four-year restriction', users who upgrade their mobiles after two years will be exempted from paying the remainder of their old mobile's price on the condition that they trade in their old mobiles and sign up for the same programme. The report stated that this would likely result in an increase of switching cost and lead to users' reluctance to change their mobile phone operators.

In addition, the JFTC showed its concerns over fees incurred by MVNOs for connecting to MVOs' networks. While MVNOs provide their communication services by utilising radio waves allocated to MNOs, the report said that it would be necessary to develop a system that induces MVOs to reduce connecting fees in order for MVNOs to build their position as competitors of MVOs in the mobile phone market.

ii Study group on human resources and competition policy

Given that people increasingly do freelance work or have a second job as well as working as a permanent employee, and that the types of employment agreements or work arrangements have been varied, the JFTC and the CPRC established a study group on human resources and competition policy in 2017 and issued a report in February 201812 to consider whether it is necessary and reasonable to deal with competition in labour markets under the AMA. The study group consisted of the experts in competition law, labour law, and labour economics and had held six meetings in order to compile the report.

While the AMA would play a significant role in promoting free and fair competition in the human resources market particularly in circumstances where there is declining labour force in addition to the diversity of work style, the application of the AMA to the labour market had not been discussed in detail before. This report concluded that the AMA should be applied to workers who are not protected under labour law such as freelance workers and that several concerted practices by multiple employers, such as 'no-poach' agreements and wage fixing, and unilateral actions by a single employer, including the non-compete obligation and restriction of the use of output produced by a freelance worker, may give rise to concerns under the AMA.

The JFTC takes the position that it would apply the AMA to the human resource market in accordance with the report, and from December 2018 it has been conducting research on restrictions of transfers of players in the sports sector to determine whether the conduct raises any competition law concerns.

V MERGER REVIEW

The number of merger filings with the JFTC has been relatively stable with a slight decrease compared to the immediately preceding year. From April 2017 to March 2018 (FY 2018), the JFTC accepted 306 notifications, of which 299 were cleared in Phase I, one was brought into Phase II and six were voluntarily withdrawn by the parties. From the standpoint of the competitive landscape between the parties, 179 involved a horizontal overlap and 121 involved a vertical relationship.

Likely supported by the parties' effective use of pre-notification consultation with the JFTC, the rate of Phase I clearance continues to be high. Informal discussion between the authority and the parties during the pre-notification phase often extends to substantive competition issues, and sometimes remedies may also be agreed. While the JFTC only publishes a limited number of its decisions, it published three Phase I clearances with conditions in FY 2018.

i Significant cases

Fukuoka Financial Group (FFG)/Eighteenth Bank

The JFTC scrutinised FFG's acquisition of Eighteenth Bank with a focus on the parties' horizontal overlap in corporate loans for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Nagasaki Prefecture and three sub-regions, where the combined market share would be 70 to 75 per cent. After an in-depth review of more than two years, the transaction was approved on the condition that the parties divest loan receivables valued approximately ¥100 billion, accounting for 5 to 10 per cent of the above-mentioned relevant markets.

Oji Holdings/Mitsubishi Paper Mills

Oji Holdings' acquisition of 33 per cent voting rights in Mitsubishi Paper Mills involved the parties' substantive horizontal overlap in art paper, base paper for wallpaper, and press board markets in Japan. Upon Phase II scrutiny, the JFTC unconditionally approved the transaction taking into account the competitive pressure from customers, competitors and neighbouring markets.

Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal (NSSMC)/Sanyo Special Steel (SSS)

Reviewing NSSMC's acquisition of 51.5 per cent voting rights in SSS, the JFTC focused on the Japanese market of small diameter seamless steel pipes for bearings, where the parties are the only two players SSS holding a 70 per cent market share and the remaining 30 per cent held by NSSMC. Given the absence of competitive pressure from competitors, imports and new entrants, as well as the limited presence of competitive pressure from customers and neighbouring markets, the JFTC considered that the transaction would substantially restrain competition. The transaction was approved during Phase II on the condition that SSS assigns a certain portion of right of use for its manufacturing facility and associated business to Kobe Steel, as well as the relevant firewall, so that sensitive information of Kobe Steel may not be shared, and monitoring undertakings.

ii Trends, developments and strategies

The JFTC has reviewed and approved 16 mergers and acquisitions between Japanese regional banks over the past 10 years, of which two recent cases (Daishi Bank/Hokuetsu Bank, FFG/Eighteenth Bank) were subject to Phase II. With the expected decrease in the Japanese population and other economic circumstances as a backdrop, mergers and acquisitions are considered important and effective options for regional players to survive, but their relatively high market share in specific regions may lead transactions to an in-depth review by the JFTC. In order to facilitate such momentum, the Japanese government is considering new legislation that provides a temporary exception to the current merger control regime under the AMA for a period of five to 10 years.

iii Outlook

The Growth Strategy Council, which is the government's initiative to promote growth of the Japanese economy in the prospective sectors, suggests an amendment to the JFTC's merger control guidelines with an aim to facilitate merger review that involves digital platforms. New factors such as data, R&D investments, human resources, and accumulation of know-how are proposed additions to the traditional factors of substantive competition assessment.

VI CONCLUSIONS

Under the continuous leadership of Commissioner Kazuyuki Sugimoto, in the coming year it is expected that the focus on cartel enforcement, on merger control and on various industry sectors, will be maintained. Also for policy advocacy aspects it is expected that important reports will continue to be issued. Among other things, there will be a specific focus on the framework of rules that are to apply to digital platforms based on market inquiries. Also in relation to potential amendments to the AMA reflecting reforms of the surcharge system, which is an important challenge for the JFTC, it should be observed whether and when such amendments will pass the Diet as well as the details of newly introduced attorney–client privilege (a requirement put forward by the business community) going forward.


Footnotes

1 Junya Ae is a partner, Michio Suzuki is a senior associate and Ryo Yamaguchi is an associate at Baker & McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise).

2 'The Fair Trade Commission's Policy on Criminal Accusation and Compulsory Investigation of Criminal Cases Regarding Antimonopoly Violations', the JFTC, revised 23 October 2009, p. 1.

5 'Report of the Study Group on the Antimonopoly Act', published on 25 April 2017.