Japan FTC Launches Probe over Rakuten's Free Delivery Plan

Economy Society Politics

Tokyo, Jan. 29 (Jiji Press)--Japan's Fair Trade Commission has launched an investigation over Rakuten Inc.'s <4755> plan to scrap delivery fees for relatively large purchases at its online shopping site, informed sources said Wednesday.

The FTC started questioning tenants at the Rakuten Ichiba cybermall to see whether Rakuten's unilateral decision on the plan amounts to a violation of the antimonopoly law, which bans abuse of a superior bargaining position, the sources said.

Rakuten sticks to its plan. The company may receive administrative punishments if the plan is found illegal.

The antimonopoly law prohibits the use of a superior bargaining position to make smaller business partners accept unfair terms.

Currently, Rakuten Ichiba tenants set delivery fees themselves. But Rakuten has announced a plan to introduce unified standards for delivery fees March 18.

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Jiji Press