JFTC Detects Unfair Practice over Deals on Local Govts' Websites

Society Politics

Tokyo, June 30 (Jiji Press)--The Japan Fair Trade Commission has found that two listed companies adopted an unfair practice to prevent rivals from winning contracts to manage websites for local governments, it was learned Thursday.

The two are Smartvalue Co. <9417>, which produces websites for local municipalities, and Scinex Corp. <2376>, an operator of local information websites. They are both based in the western city of Osaka and have a business alliance.

On the day, the antimonopoly watchdog approved improvement plans submitted by the two companies, which pledged not to repeat the practice in question.

According to the JFTC, the two companies have since February 2019 given over 900 municipalities across the country incorrect information that website management systems using open source software are problematic from a security aspect, while noting that Smartvalue's system uses independently developed software.

About 110 of the municipalities concluded contracts with the two firms, with contract values ranging from several million yen to tens of millions of yen.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press