JFTC antimonopoly law investigations in 2002
On 21 May 2003 the Fair Trade Commission of Japan (JFTC) published an overview of the status of the antimonopoly investigations carried out during 2002. According to the announcement, recommendations (kankoku, a type of legal action) were made in respect of 37 investigations against 805 of the entities that were investigated by the JFTC during 2002 for operating cartels or carrying on unfair trade practices. Of those 37 cases, 30 of the recommendations were made for collusive bidding activities (nyusatsu dango). The number of entities investigated by the JFTC in 2002 is the third largest on record. In 1999 938 entities were investigated, and in 2001 928. Surcharges amounting to over JPY4.3 billion (US$35,758,836) in aggregate were imposed by the JFTC in 561 cases involving illegal price cartels or price fixing activities. The level of surcharges in 2002 was almost double that in 2001 when surcharges amounting to JPY2.2 billion (US$18,295,218) in aggregate were levied over 248 cases. JFTC hearings are initiated when the entity under investigation raises objections to the JFTC’s findings. In 2002 hearings were commenced in 29 cases. By 21 May 2003, the JFTC reached a final decision in respect of 8 of those cases. The current number of ongoing cases before the JFTC is 91.