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  • By The Financial District

Japan Trade Watchdog Fines 3 Utilities $733-M For Forming Cartel

The Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) on Dec. 1, 2022 warned Japanese utilities in central, western and southwestern Japan they will be slapped fines totaling over 100 billion yen (about $733 million) for violating the Antimonopoly Act by forming a cartel restricting access to each other's customers, Makoto Kakizaki and Taiki Asakawa reported for Mainichi Shimbun.


Photo Insert: The fair-trade watchdog accused Chubu Electric Power Co. in Nagoya, The Chugoku Electric Power Co. in Hiroshima and Kyushu Electric Power Co. in Fukuoka of unfairly restricting transactions.



The fair-trade watchdog accused Chubu Electric Power Co. in Nagoya, The Chugoku Electric Power Co. in Hiroshima and Kyushu Electric Power Co. in Fukuoka of unfairly restricting transactions.


If levied, the total amount of the fine is expected to be the highest ever issued by the commission.



Also named by the watchdog were Chubu Electric Power Miraiz Co. based in Nagoya, and Kyuden Mirai Energy Corp., which is part of the Kyushu Electric group. Between 2000 and 2016, the government gradually liberalized electricity sales to give consumers more price and service choices.


The fair trade commission sees the three utilities' move to form a cartel as a grave violation shaking the foundations of the liberalization policies. The commission plans to hear the view of the three utilities and levy the fines by the end of the fiscal year in March 2023, and issue a cease and desist order.



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