Japanese Power Utilities to Face Record Antitrust Fines

Society Economy

Tokyo, Dec. 1 (Jiji Press)--Japan's Fair Trade Commission told three major domestic power utilities Thursday that it plans to impose a record antitrust fine of about 100 billion yen on them for forming a price cartel, sources familiar with the matter said.

The current record is the 39.9 billion yen slapped on eight major Japanese road-paving companies in 2019 for fixing asphalt mixture prices.

Chugoku Electric Power Co. <9504> is expected to be slapped with a fine of some 70 billion yen, the sources said. Chubu Electric Power Co. <9502> and a subsidiary will likely be fined a total of around 27.5 billion yen, while Kyushu Electric Power Co. <9508> is expected to be ordered to pay around 2.7 billion yen, the sources said.

The antitrust watchdog will make a final decision after listening to the opinion of each company. The fines would deal an additional blow to the companies, already struggling with higher energy costs and a weak yen.

Chugoku Electric, Chubu Electric and Kyushu Electric are suspected of reaching an agreement with Kansai Electric Power Co. <9503> from around 2018 not to engage in marketing activities, such as offering low prices, for corporate clients outside their respective service areas, a practice that restricts competition, the sources said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press