Japan FTC Inspects Rakuten over Free Delivery Plan

Politics

Tokyo, Feb. 10 (Jiji Press)--Japan's Fair Trade Commission on Monday conducted on-site inspections of Rakuten Inc. <4755> over the company's plan to scrap delivery fees for certain purchases at its online shopping site.

The FTC suspects that Rakuten's unilateral decision on the plan amounts to a violation of the antimonopoly law, which bans abuse of a superior bargaining position for setting terms of transactions disadvantageous to smaller business partners.

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

Under the new standards, purchases of 3,980 yen or more including tax will be free of delivery fees, excluding some items. For Okinawa Prefecture, southernmost Japan, and remote islands, the threshold will be 9,800 yen.

The company sticks to its plan despite growing opposition from tenants, who will have to shoulder the delivery costs under the scheme.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press