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9 firms to be fined over bid-rigging

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The Fair Trade Commission plans to fine nine companies about ¥45 million in total for their suspected bid-rigging for uniforms delivered to East Japan Railway Co., or JR East, or West Japan Railway Co., or JR West, it has been learned.

The antitrust watchdog has informed the nine, including department store operators Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings Ltd., Daimaru Matsuzakaya Department Stores Co. and Sogo & Seibu Co., of the plan to fine them. The FTC also plans to issue a cease-and-desist order to a total of 12 companies including the nine.

According to informed sources, the companies are suspected to have begun several years ago to preselect winning bidders in talks among relevant officials for orders from JR East or those from JR West for uniforms for their train crew members and maintenance workers in violation of the antimonopoly law.

Marubeni Mates Ltd., Sojitz General Merchandise Corp. and Toyobo STC Co. were allegedly involved in bid-rigging for orders from both railway operators, the sources said.Speech

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