Restraints of trade and dominance in Japan: overview

A Q&A guide to restraints of trade and dominance in Japan.

The Q&A gives a succinct overview of restraints of trade, monopolies and abuses of market power in Japan. In particular, it covers the regulatory authorities and the regulatory framework, the scope of rules, exemptions, exclusions, statutes of limitation, notification, investigations, penalties and enforcement, third party damages claims, EU law, joint ventures and proposals for reform.

For information on merger control, regulatory framework and regulatory authorities, relevant triggering events and thresholds in Japan, visit Merger control in Japan: overview.

This Q&A is part of the global guide to competition and cartel leniency. For a full list of jurisdictional Restraints of Trade and Dominance Q&As visit www.practicallaw.com/restraintsoftrade-guide. For a full list of jurisdictional Merger Control Q&As visit www.practicallaw.com/mergercontrol-guide.

For a full list of jurisdictional Cartel Leniency Q&As, which provide a succinct overview of leniency and immunity, the applicable procedure and the regulatory authorities in multiple jurisdictions, visit www.practicallaw.com/leniency-guide.

Contents

Restraints of trade

Scope of rules

1. Are restrictive agreements and practices regulated? If so, what are the substantive provisions and regulatory authority?

Regulatory framework

Restrictive agreements and practices are regulated under the law. However, horizontal and vertical agreements or practices are covered by separate provisions. The legislation is broadly summarised as follows:

  • Restrictive agreements and practices that are horizontal in nature such as cartels and bid-rigging (unreasonable restraint of trade provisions) (Articles 3 and 2(6), Anti-Monopoly Act (AMA)).

  • Restrictive agreements and practices that are vertical in nature such as resale price maintenance, dealing on exclusive terms, and dealing on restrictive terms (unfair trade practices provisions) (Articles 19 and 2(9), AMA; Designation of Unfair Trade Practices (a JFTC public notice which is a subordinate regulation of the AMA).

However, private monopolisation also covers certain types of both horizontal and vertical restrictive practices, such as boycott agreements and exclusive dealing (Article 3 and 2(5), AMA).

Under the law, none of the above types of conduct is automatically treated as illegal per se. The AMA requires:

  • A substantial restraint of competition in any particular field of trade as one of the elements of unreasonable restraint on trade and private monopolisation.

  • A tendency to impede competition as one of the elements of unfair trade practices.

However, depending on the type of conduct, there are cases where such conduct is considered more likely to be anti-competitive. Under the AMA, conduct such as "naked cartels" (price fixing and bid rigging) and resale price maintenance is construed as anti-competitive.

The provisions of the AMA on restrictive agreements are applied equally regardless of the type of industry and there are no industry specific provisions in the AMA.

Regulatory authority

The Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) is the relevant regulatory body in Japan.

The JFTC conducts both the investigative and decision-making functions in relation to competition law related matters (see box, The regulatory authority).

 
2. Do the regulations only apply to formal agreements or can they apply to informal practices?

The application of the Anti-Monopoly Act (AMA) is not necessarily limited to formal agreements. Therefore, it could also be applied to practices that do not consist of formal agreements.

Exemptions

 
3. Are there any exemptions? If so, what are the criteria for individual exemption and any applicable block exemptions?

The Anti-Monopoly Act (AMA) provides three types of statutory exemptions:

  • Exercise of intellectual property.

  • Certain acts by small partnerships that meet statutory criteria.

  • Resale price maintenance concerning certain products designated by the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC). The JFTC currently only designates six types of products:

    • newspapers;

    • books;

    • magazines;

    • records;

    • music tapes; and

    • music CDs.

There are no block exemptions where certain classes of agreements are presumed to be exempted.

However, there are some acts other than the AMA that provide exemptions, mainly for restrictive agreements. As of March 2015, there are 16 such acts that cover sectors such as:

  • Insurance.

  • Aviation.

  • Ocean shipping.

 

Exclusions and statutes of limitation

4. Are there any exclusions? Are there statutes of limitation associated with restrictive agreements and practices?

Exclusions

The Anti-Monopoly Act (AMA) does not provide for any de minimis provisions.

However, the Guidelines Concerning Distribution Systems and Business Practices (DSBP Guidelines) published by the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) provide that certain conducts of "a manufacturer [that] is influential in a market" could face greater scrutiny. The DSBP Guidelines define the manufacturer as one that has no less than 10% market share or its position is within the top three in the market (the draft amendment of the DSBP Guidelines proposes to use only market shares and raise the threshold to ''more than 20% market share''). Since conduct that falls outside of this criterion is usually considered legal, this criterion is essentially an exemption in so far as certain types of unfair trade practices are concerned.

Statutes of limitation

There is a five-year limitation period from the date of the discontinuation of the infringing conduct, during which the JFTC can issue its orders (cease-and-desist orders or surcharge payment orders).

 

Notification

5. What are the notification requirements for restrictive agreements and practices?

Notification

There are no notification requirements under the Anti-Monopoly Act (AMA).

Informal guidance/opinion

There is an advance consultation system where, if a party submits an application that meets certain requirements provided by the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC), the JFTC provides an answer within a certain period (for example, generally within 30 days of receipt of the application or additional materials (if they are requested by the JFTC)).

Alternatively, it is also possible to informally consult with the JFTC. However, the JFTC does not have to provide an answer in this case. In practice, the latter measure is more often used, as this would not be published to the public.

Responsibility for notification

Not applicable.

Relevant authority

Not applicable.

Form of notification

Not applicable.

Filing fee

Not applicable.

 

Investigations

6. Who can start an investigation into a restrictive agreement or practice?

Regulators

The Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) can start an investigation on its own initiative. The JTFC occasionally conducts market monitoring for selected industries and publishes a report in which findings can assist the JFTC to begin its investigation at a later time.

The Anti-Monopoly Act (AMA) provides that the chairman and commissioners of the JFTC must exercise their authority independently. Therefore, while other bodies (such as other government departments) can ask the JFTC to conduct an investigation, the JFTC can decide whether or not to start an investigation at its own discretion.

Third parties

Any person that believes there is a violation of the provisions of the AMA can report this to the JFTC and request that appropriate measures are taken. The JFTC must then commence preliminary investigations concerning whether or not to initiate its administrative investigation procedure. Such a complaint can be made either orally or in writing. There are no special requirements such as use of a particular form. However, where the complaint is made in writing, by including specific facts in accordance with the rules of the JFTC, the JFTC will notify the complainant as to whether it has decided to take:

  • Appropriate measures.

  • No measures.

 
7. What rights (if any) does a complainant or other third party have to make representations, access documents or be heard during the course of an investigation?

The complainant or other third parties are not given any special rights.

Representations

The complainant or other third parties do not have any rights to make representations. However, where a third party is willing to provide information regarding a potential violation, the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) can, and usually will, engage with that party.

Document access

The complainant or other third parties do not have any rights to access documents. The only measure available for third parties to access documents during the course of an investigation is under the procedures provided for in the Act on Access to Information Held by Administrative Organs. However, this route is extremely limited.

Be heard

The complainant or other third parties do not have any rights to be heard during the course of the investigation (see Question 8).

 
8. What are the stages of the investigation and timetable?

The investigation starts by either:

  • Detection by the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC).

  • Report by the public to the JFTC (complaint or notification).

  • Submission by informants based on the Leniency Programme.

  • Request by the Small and Medium Enterprise Agency (Small and Medium Enterprise Agency Establishment Act).

After conducting an administrative investigation (this typically lasts between six months to a year), provided that the JFTC finds a violation of the Anti-Monopoly Act (AMA), the JFTC will issue a prior notice of a cease-and-desist order. This is unless the JFTC thinks it should either close the investigation or simply issue a warning or a caution. If the conduct is subject to a surcharge payment order, then the JFTC would also simultaneously issue a prior notice of a surcharge payment order. The party is then given an opportunity to present its views and to submit evidence concerning the prior notices of the orders, and the JFTC then decides whether or not to issue formal orders. Once a formal order (cease-and-desist order or surcharge payment order) is issued, the party can challenge the decision of the JFTC in court, starting with filing a complaint with the Tokyo District Court.

For unreasonable restraint of trade, which covers horizontal restrictive agreements and practices, and private monopolisation, the JFTC also has the sole authority to file a criminal accusation with the Prosecutor General to begin criminal proceeding. The JFTC does this for serious unreasonable restraint of trade cases and can conduct compulsory investigations, such as search and seizure based on warrants issued by a judge.

 

Publicity and confidentiality

9. How much information is made publicly available concerning investigations into potentially restrictive agreements or practices? Is any information made automatically confidential and is confidentiality available on request?

Publicity

Generally, the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) does not proactively disclose the fact that it is conducting an investigation. However, in practice, the fact that the JFTC has conducted an onsite inspection (including one based on compulsory investigation), or has issued a prior notice of its order is almost always reported by the media. When the JFTC reaches a final decision, it issues a press release attaching a copy of cease-and-desist order(s).

Automatic confidentiality

JFTC officials must keep confidential any secrets that come to their knowledge in the course of their duties under the Anti-Monopoly Act (AMA) and the National Public Service Act. However, the AMA provides that the JFTC can, in order to ensure the proper operation of this Act, make any necessary matters public except for the secrets of parties.

Confidentiality on request

There is no specific provision in the AMA that provides for such requests by the parties. However, as JFTC officials must keep confidential the secrets of the parties, in practice, it is useful to make such a request to ensure that the JFTC official will fulfil his duty.

 
10. What are the powers (if any) that the relevant regulator has to investigate potentially restrictive agreements or practices?

For the administrative investigation, the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) can take any of the following measures to conduct the necessary investigation on a case:

  • Interrogation of persons concerned with a case or a witness.

  • Collecting opinions and/or reports

  • Obtaining expert opinions from expert witnesses.

  • Submission and/or retention of objects.

  • Onsite inspections.

For investigation of criminal cases, the JFTC can use any of the following methods:

  • Questioning of a criminal suspect and/or witness.

  • Inspection of objects possessed or abandoned by a criminal suspect and/or witness.

  • Retention of objects voluntarily submitted or abandoned by a criminal suspect and/or witness

  • Inquiry with a public agency or public or private organisation.

  • Conducting an onsite inspection, search and/or seizure with a court issued warrant.

  • Seizing correspondence such as postal items with a court issued warrant.

 

Settlements

11. Can the parties reach settlements with regulators to bring an early resolution to an investigation? If so, what are the circumstances for doing so and the applicable procedure?

The Anti-Monopoly Act (AMA) does not provide for any such settlement procedure.

 
12. Can the regulator accept remedies (commitments) from the parties to address competition concerns without reaching an infringement decision? If so, what are the circumstances for doing so and the applicable procedure?

The Anti-Monopoly Act (AMA) does not provide for any such commitment procedure. Although it is possible that the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) decides not to pursue the case any further after a party has implemented certain remedies, there is no formal process that enables the JFTC to accept remedies (commitments) from the parties to address competition law concerns without reaching an infringement decision. In addition, although the JFTC can refrain from issuing a cease-and-desist order if it finds that voluntarily taken measures are sufficient, it does not have the authority to refrain from ordering a surcharge payment order as long as requirements for such orders are fulfilled.

 

Penalties and enforcement

13. What are the regulator's enforcement powers in relation to a prohibited restrictive agreement or practice?

Orders

The Anti-Monopoly Act (AMA) provides that the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) can order the party to:

  • Cease-and-desist from engaging in the conduct in question.

  • Delete the relevant clauses from the contract.

  • Take any other measure necessary to eliminate the conduct.

This is an administrative sanction, and in practice, a cease-and-desist order by the JFTC is the most commonly used sanction.

Fines

For unreasonable restraint of trade, private monopolisation and for certain types of unfair trade practices, the AMA provides that under certain circumstances the JFTC must order a payment of a surcharge that is essentially an administrative fine. Among the conduct included is the resale price maintenance of products. However, for resale price maintenance and certain other types of unfair trade practices, this applies only where the violation is the second offence of the same kind within the last ten years.

For unreasonable restraint of trade and private monopolisation, criminal fines are also available. The AMA provides for criminal fines up to JPY5 million or imprisonment of up to five years for individuals (or both) and criminal fines of up to JPY500 million for corporations.

Personal liability

An individual can be held personally liable for unreasonable restraint of trade and private monopolisation. However, that is not the case for unfair trade practices.

Immunity/leniency

For unreasonable restraint of trade, a leniency programme is available. The first applicant gets full immunity, and subsequent applicants (up to four) get certain statutory reduction of fines.

Impact on agreements

The AMA provides that the JFTC can order violators to take any measure necessary to eliminate the act in violation of the AMA. Usually, the JFTC orders the parties to confirm that the restrictive agreement or practice no longer exists or the relevant clauses of the contract have been deleted. It is also technically possible for the JFTC to order that the entire agreement be rescinded if it thinks this necessary to eliminate the act in violation.

 

Third party damages claims and appeals

14. Can third parties claim damages for losses suffered as a result of a prohibited restrictive agreement or practice? If so, what special procedures or rules (if any) apply? Are collective/class actions possible?

Third party damages

Third parties can claim damages for losses suffered as a result of a prohibited restrictive agreement or practice that is in violation of the Anti-Monopoly Act (AMA). It can do so either by:

  • Follow-on actions based on the infringement decision of the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) (Article 25, AMA), the general tort provision (Article 709, Civil Code), or the general unjust enrichment provision (Article 704, Civil Code).

  • Stand-alone actions (irrespective of whether there is a prior infringement decision) based on the general tort provision or the general unjust enrichment provision.

Special procedures/rules

There are some special treatments for the follow-on damages actions based on Article 25 of the AMA (if chosen), including that:

  • The Tokyo District Court has exclusive jurisdiction and the case is heard by either a three judge or a five judge panel.

  • The JFTC's infringement decision (the cease-and-desist order or the surcharge payment order) must have become final and binding. However, while the JFTC's final and binding decision is a key factor for the court to infer that there in fact was a violation, the JFTC's decision is not binding on the court.

  • The action must be brought within three years from the date that the JFTC's order becomes final.

  • The defendant cannot be exempted from liability by proving the non-existence of intention or negligence on its part.

  • The court can ask for the opinion of the JFTC on the amount of damages caused by such violations.

Collective/class actions

Currently collective/class actions are not possible under Japanese law. The Act on the Special Provisions on Civil Litigation Procedure for Collective Recovery of Property Damages by Consumers promulgated in 2013 (which will come into force on 1 October 2016) provides for collective or class actions. However, this will be useful only under very limited circumstances. Under this Act, only a "Specified Qualified Consumer Organisation" will be able to bring a claim. The claims that will be able to be brought are limited to those related to consumer contracts and will be subject to other statutory requirements.

 
15. Is there a right of appeal against any decision of the regulator? If so, which decisions, to which body and within which time limits? Are rights of appeal available to third parties, or only to the parties to the agreement or practice?

Rights of appeal and procedure

There is a right of appeal against the decision of the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC). Before 1 April 2015, the appeal had to be filed with the JFTC tribunal. However, with the amendments to the Anti-Monopoly Act (AMA) that came into effect on 1 April 2015, the recipient of the JFTC order can now file a lawsuit to quash the JFTC's order with the Tokyo District Court. The complaint must be filed with the Tokyo District Court within six months from the day that the party was notified of the order.

Third party rights of appeal

While the AMA and other relevant laws are not necessarily clear on this, a third party may have standing in a lawsuit to quash the JFTC's orders, assuming he has a valid legal interest (or standing).

 

Monopolies and abuses of market power

Scope of rules

16. Are monopolies and abuses of market power regulated under administrative and/or criminal law? If so, what are the substantive provisions and regulatory authority?

Regulatory framework

Monopolies and abuses of market power are regulated as private monopolisation (Article 3 and 2(5), Anti-Monopoly Act (AMA)). The AMA provides both administrative and criminal sanctions for private monopolisation, but in practice, the criminal provisions for private monopolisation have never been exercised. There are no industry specific regimes.

There is a type of conduct that is regulated under unfair trade practices called "abuse of superior bargaining position" (Article 2(9)(v), AMA). While this category of regulation does not require dominance or market power (and, therefore, is not addressed in detail in this chapter), this is one area that the JFTC does prioritise. This category is more focused on the relationship between a specific party and many other parties that are substantially in the same position, where the former party establishes or changes trade terms or executes transactions in a way that is disadvantageous (either unpredictable or extremely disadvantageous) to the other parties. For this type of conduct, there are some industry specific guidelines (for example, guidelines addressed to large scale retailers).

Regulatory authority

The Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) is the regulatory authority for administrative sanctions. While criminal sanctions are imposed by a criminal court based on prosecutions by the Public Prosecutors' Office (PPO), the JFTC has the sole authority to make criminal accusations to the Prosecutor General, which is a prerequisite for prosecution by the PPO.

 
17. How is dominance/market power determined?

The Anti-Monopoly Act (AMA) does not necessarily provide guidance on the determination of dominance or market power, since its role is to essentially prohibit business activities that exclude or control the business activities of other parties that cause a substantial restraint of competition in any particular field of trade. However, the Guidelines for Exclusionary Private Monopolisation under the Anti-Monopoly Act (2009) (EPM Guidelines) provides some useful guidance by clarifying the requirements for exclusionary private monopolisation to a certain extent. The EPM Guidelines cover the:

  • Types of typical conduct that tend to be deemed problematic as exclusionary conduct.

  • Framework for deliberations and factors applied for assessing whether or not it falls under exclusionary conduct for each type.

The EPM Guidelines also describe the factors to be considered for defining a particular field of trade and determining the presence or absence of a substantial restraint of competition in a particular field of trade.

 
18. Are there any broad categories of behaviour that may constitute abusive conduct?

The Guidelines for Exclusionary Private Monopolisation under the Anti-Monopoly Act (2009) (EPM Guidelines) describe four types of typical exclusionary conduct in reference to past cases:

  • Below-cost pricing.

  • Exclusive dealing.

  • Tying.

  • Refusal to supply and discriminatory treatment.

However, exclusionary conduct that constitutes exclusionary private monopolisation is not limited to the acts that fall under these four types of typical exclusionary conduct.

 

Exemptions and exclusions

19. Are there any exemptions or exclusions?

There are no exemptions or exclusions that apply specifically to private monopolisation. However, the Guidelines for Exclusionary Private Monopolisation under the Anti-Monopoly Act (2009) (EPM Guidelines) describe general matters that the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) must consider when determining whether to prioritise the investigation of a particular case as exclusionary private monopolisation. Among these matters, the EPM Guidelines provide that the JFTC, when deciding whether to investigate a case as exclusionary private monopolisation, prioritises a case where:

  • The share of the product that the party supplies exceeds approximately 50% after the commencement of such conduct.

  • The conduct is deemed to have a serious impact on the lives of the citizens, comprehensively considering the relevant factors such as:

    • market size;

    • scope of business activities of the party; and

    • characteristics of the product.

Although this is not a definite threshold, this could be of assistance to parties.

 

Notification

20. Is it necessary (or, if not necessary, possible/advisable) to notify the conduct to obtain clearance or (formal or informal) guidance from the regulator? If so, what is the applicable procedure?

It is not necessary to obtain such clearance from the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC). However, the JFTC provides for an advance consultation system where it provides guidance that the parties may consider using depending on the case (see Question 5).

 

Investigations

21. What (if any) procedural differences are there between investigations into monopolies and abuses of market power and investigations into restrictive agreements and practices?

Practically, the most important difference is that criminal penalty is available to unreasonable restraint of trade. For procedures, see Questions 6 to 12.

 
22. What are the regulator's powers of investigation?
 

Penalties and enforcement

23. What are the penalties for abuse of market power and what orders can the regulator make?

For administrative penalties, the position is basically the same as for restrictive agreements and practices (see Question 13), except for the rate that will apply in calculating the fine.

For criminal penalties, the Anti-Monopoly Act (AMA) provides for criminal fines up to JPY5 million or imprisonment of up to five years for individuals (or both) and criminal fines of up to JPY500 million for corporations. However, the criminal provisions for private monopolisation have never been exercised (see Question 16).

 

Third party damages claims

24. Can third parties claim damages for losses suffered as a result of abuse of market power? If so, what special procedures or rules (if any) apply? Are collective/class actions possible?

Third party damages

See Question 14.

Special procedures/rules

See Question 14.

Collective/class actions

See Question 14.

 

EU law

25. Are there any differences between the powers of the national regulatory authority(ies) and courts in relation to cases dealt with under Article 101 and/or Article 102 of the TFEU, and those dealt with only under national law?

Not applicable.

 

Joint ventures

26. How are joint ventures analysed under competition law?

There is no formal legal definition of a joint venture under competition law. There is also no special treatment for joint ventures.

 

Inter-agency co-operation

27. Does the regulatory authority in your jurisdiction co-operate with regulatory authorities in other jurisdictions in relation to infringements of competition law? If so, what is the legal basis for and extent of co-operation (in particular, in relation to the exchange of information)?

The Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) can exchange information with foreign competition agencies under certain conditions (Article 43(2), Anti-Monopoly Act). The JFTC has also entered into anti-monopoly co-operation agreements with foreign competition agencies such as the US, EU and Canada, which provide for exchange of information. For criminal procedures, the Act on International Assistance in Investigation and Other Related Matters also provides for co-operation between the Minister of Justice of Japan and its foreign counterpart.

 

Recent cases

28. What are the recent developments, trends or notable recent cases concerning abuse of market power?

In terms of legislation, amendments to the Anti-Monopoly Act (AMA) in 2005 and 2009 introduced surcharge payments (administrative fines) for the infringement of private monopolisation. However, there is yet to be a case where the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) actually imposes such a surcharge payment for the infringement of private monopolisation.

Further, in January 2016, the JFTC revised its Guidelines for the Use of Intellectual Property under the Antimonopoly Act, in order to address issues under the AMA concerning Standard Essential Patents such as the filing of an injunction claim by a Standard Essential Patent holder.

As for notable cases, while there are only very few private monopolisation cases handled by the JFTC (only seven cases since 2000), in 2010 the Supreme Court ruled on a private monopolisation case (NTT East case) and has provided some guidance on the basic concepts of private monopolisation that are in line with the Guidelines for Exclusionary Private Monopolisation under the Anti-Monopoly Act (2009) (EPM Guidelines). Another recent case is the JASRAC case. In this case, the High Court had reversed a JFTC tribunal decision holding that there was no infringement after the original JFTC cease-and-desist order was challenged by the alleged infringer (JASRAC). On 28 April 2015, the Supreme Court upheld the Tokyo High Court's decision and the case is now pending at the JFTC on remand.

 

Proposals for reform

29. Are there any proposals for reform concerning restrictive agreements and market dominance?

The Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) has proposed an amendment to the Guidelines Concerning Distribution Systems and Business Practices (DSBP Guidelines). The draft amendment proposes that the definition of a manufacturer that is influential in a market, whose certain conducts could face greater scrutiny, be changed from a manufacturer that has no less than 10% market share or its position is within the top three in the market to a manufacturer that has more than 20% market share.

Regarding settlements and commitments, under the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement (TPP), a draft amendment to the AMA, which introduces a commitment like procedure has been submitted to the Diet, but is yet to be enacted. We expect that the earliest possible effective date of such amendment (if any) should be 1 January 2018.

Separately, the JFTC set up a study group in February 2016 to discuss the future of the surcharge payments system including the possible introduction of a discretionary surcharge payment scheme.

 

Online resources

Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC)

W www.jftc.go.jp/en/legislation_gls/index.html

Description. This website is a section within the official website of the JFTC (www.jftc.go.jp/en). Since this is an official website, it is maintained by the JFTC, and is updated regularly. This section gives access to English translations of key legislations and guidelines on competition law in Japan. However, translations are for guidance only.



The regulatory authority

Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) – International Affairs Division

T +81 3 3581 1998
F +81 3 3581 1944
E intnldiv@jftc.go.jp

W www.jftc.go.jp/en

Outline structure. The JFTC was established in 1947 as an independent administrative office with broad enforcement powers and is composed of a chair and four commissioners.

Responsibilities. The JFTC is responsible for all competition-related matters (excluding those covered by the Consumer Affairs Agency, such as consumer protection type issues), including merger control and international co-operation.

Procedure for obtaining documents. The JFTC occasionally publishes information on its website, but will not allow third parties to have access to their case files.



Contributor profiles

Yusuke Nakano

Anderson Mōri & Tomotsune

T +81 3 6888 1065
F +81 3 6888 3065
E yusuke.nakano@amt-law.com
W www.amt-law.com/en/professional/profile/YSN

Professional qualifications. Japan, 1997; New York, 2002

Areas of practice. Competition; anti-trust.

Non-professional qualifications. LLB, The University of Tokyo, 1994; LLM, Harvard Law School, 2001

Recent transactions

  • Assisting six parties in auto-parts investigations.
  • Representing a Japanese company in Power Cables case.
  • Assisting a Japanese company against which a large-scale private monopolisation investigation was launched by the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) and terminated without any sanctions.
  • Lead counsel in a global leniency application project by a Japanese company.
  • Lead counsel in a global merger filing project by a Japanese company.
  • Assisting a foreign company in the first foreign-to-foreign merger case that the JFTC launched an investigation against.
  • Representing a foreign company that submitted opinions and evidence to the JFTC in opposition to a certain merger.

Languages. Japanese, English

Professional associations/memberships. Daini Tokyo Bar Association; American Bar Association, Section of Antitrust Law; Adjunct Lecturer, Hitotsubashi University (2004, 2007 to 2009) and Hitotsubashi Law School (2009 to 2013); Japan Competition Law Forum; Member, Council of Experts for Promoting Translation of Japanese Laws and Regulations into Foreign Languages, Cabinet Secretariat (2006 to 2009); International Bar Association.

Publications

  • Leniency Regimes, European Lawyer Reference, fifth edition, 2015.
  • Competition Law in Asia-Pacific: A Practitioner's Guide, Kluwer Law International, 2015.
  • Introduction to Japanese Business Law & Practice, LexisNexis Japan, second edition, 2014.
  • The Merger Control Review, Law Business Research, fifth edition, 2014.

Atsushi Yamada

Anderson Mōri & Tomotsune

T +81 3 6894 1037
F +81 3 6894 1038
E atsushi.yamada@amt-law.com
W www.amt-law.com/en/professional/profile/ATY

Professional qualifications. Japan, 2005; New York, 2013

Areas of practice. Competition; anti-trust.

Non-professional qualifications. LLB, The University of Tokyo, 1994; LLM, Cornell Law School, 2003

Recent transactions

  • Assisting parties in an auto-parts investigation conducted by multiple agencies.
  • Assisting a global mobile technology company in relation to an alleged unfair trade practices case initiated by the JFTC.
  • Assisting a Japanese construction company in relation to an alleged cartel case initiated by the JFTC.
  • Handling merger filing in Japan and in China in relation to integration of LPG business by Japanese companies.
  • Handling merger filing in Japan, China, Korea and Taiwan in relation to integration of lead frame business by Japanese companies.
  • Regularly providing advice to major companies in various industries, such as information technology, pharmaceutical, manufacturing, construction, transportation, financial institutions and trading houses.

Languages. Japanese, English

Professional associations/memberships. Tokyo Bar Association; American Bar Association, Section of Antitrust Law; Japan Competition Law Forum; International Bar Association; Inter-Pacific Bar Association, Competition Law Committee; Non-governmental adviser for the International Competition Network.

Takahiko Itoh

Anderson Mōri & Tomotsune

T +81 3 6894 1093
F +81 3 6894 1094
E takahiko.itoh@amt-law.com
W www.amt-law.com/en/professional/profile/TJI

Professional qualifications. Japan, 2003; New York, 2008

Areas of practice. Competition; anti-trust; mergers and acquisitions.

Non-professional qualifications. LLB, The University of Tokyo, 1997; LLM, Stanford Law School, 2007

Recent transactions

  • Assisting a global mobile technology company in relation to an alleged unfair trade practices case initiated by the JFTC.
  • Assisting a Japanese construction company in relation to an alleged cartel case initiated by the JFTC.
  • Handling merger filing in Japan and in China in relation to integration of LPG business by Japanese companies.
  • Assisting HSR filing by a Japanese company which acquired a US foundry for US$1.3 billion.
  • Handling merger filing in Japan, China, Korea and Taiwan in relation to integration of lead frame business by Japanese companies.

Languages. Japanese, English

Professional associations/memberships. Daini Tokyo Bar Association; American Bar Association, Section of Antitrust Law; Japan Competition Law Forum; International Young Lawyers Association, Antitrust Commission; International Bar Association; Non-governmental adviser for International Competition Network.

Publications

  • Co-author, Essential Points of Japan M&A Practice, Shoji Homu, 2015.
  • Trends of the Competition Las Policy in Russia, Fair Trade, No. 741, 2012.
  • Co-author, Practical Solutions to Avoid Breaching Antitrust Laws, Business Law Journal, 51 to 52, 2012.
  • Co-author, Theory and Practice of Merger Control Regulations under Anti-Monopoly Act – Guidance for Merger Filings, Shoji Homu, 2010.

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