Rakuten to Introduce Free Delivery in March as Planned


Tokyo, Feb. 13 (Jiji Press)--Rakuten Inc. <4755> Chairman and President Hiroshi Mikitani said Thursday that his company will introduce a program on March 18 as planned to make delivery services free of charge for certain purchases on its online shopping site.

The company will style the program as a shipping fee-included service instead of a free delivery service, Mikitani said.

Japan's Fair Trade Commission launched on-site inspections of Rakuten this week after the company announced the controversial plan to make cybermall tenants shoulder delivery costs for purchases of 3,980 yen or more.

The FTC suspects that Rakuten has abused its superior bargaining position over the tenants, in violation of the antimonopoly law.

The envisaged program is "the only way to survive intensifying industry competition," Mikitani told a press conference.

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