Japan Antitrust Law Amended for Better Leniency System


Tokyo, June 19 (Jiji Press)--The Diet, Japan's parliament, enacted on Wednesday antimonopoly law amendments designed to provide companies involved in anticompetitive practices with stronger incentives to cooperate in investigations under a leniency system.

The House of Councillors, the upper chamber of the Diet, approved the amendments by a unanimous vote at a plenary session. They passed the House of Representatives, the lower chamber, in May.

The revised law will come into force within 18 months following its promulgation.

Under the existing system of allowing penalty exemption and reductions for companies that step forward to confess to their roles in anticompetitive practices, such as price cartels and bid-rigging, the penalty reduction rates are set uniformly in accordance with the order of confessions.

By adopting flexible rates, the revised law is aimed at better encouraging violator companies to cooperate with the Japan Fair Trade Commission and helping facilitate its antitrust investigations. Ahead of the law's enforcement, the FTC plans to compile guidelines as to what types of cooperation will be considered for penalty exemption and reductions.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press