Restaurant Review Site in Japan Ordered to Pay Damages

Society

Tokyo, June 16 (Jiji Press)--Tokyo District Court on Thursday ordered the operator of Tabelog, a Japanese customer-sourced restaurant review website, to pay damages to a Tokyo-based Korean barbecue chain claiming to have lost customers due to its rating system, which it said is unfair.

Presiding Judge Fumitaka Hayashi said that Tabelog's rating system has "inflicted unfair disadvantages, constituting the abuse of its dominant bargaining position," which is banned by the antimonopoly law.

The court ordered Kakaku.com Inc. <2371> to pay 38.4 million yen to the barbecue chain, Hanryumura, which had sought some 600 million yen in damages from the Tabelog operator.

In its lawsuit, the barbecue chain claimed that Tabelog changed its rating algorithm in May 2019, lowering ratings uniformly for 21 Hanryumura outlets as they are chain stores.

Hanryumura said that the impact on its business from Tabelog's action was huge, and that it constitutes discriminatory treatment in business conditions and the abuse of dominant bargaining position, which are prohibited by the antimonopoly law.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press