Japan FTC Drops Request for Emergency Court Order for Rakuten

Politics

Tokyo, March 10 (Jiji Press)--Japan's Fair Trade Commission said Tuesday it has dropped a petition for an emergency court order to block Rakuten Inc.'s <4755> plan for free delivery services on its online shopping site.

The antitrust watchdog took the action after the company decided to start the services with limited retailers in the Rakuten Ichiba cybermall, instead of all of them as initially planned. The FTC determined that the move diminished the urgency warranting an injunction request.

On Feb. 28, the FTC sought Tokyo District Court's order, saying Rakuten's move would hamper fair competition in violation of the antimonopoly law. It was the first time in 16 years for the FTC to request such an order.

Rakuten had aimed to introduce the free-of-charge delivery program en masse on March 18. But the company said Friday that it decided to postpone the plan in view of the spread of the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The FTC will continue antimonopoly investigations into the company, as the cybermall operator has yet to withdraw the uniform free delivery scheme, informed sources said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press