JFTC Probes Nine Firms Over Bid-Rigging Suspicion in JR East & JR West Uniforms

The Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) has conducted on-site inspections at nine companies including department stores and textile-related trading firms in suspicion of bid-rigging deliveries of station staff uniforms to JR East and JR West in violation of the antimonopoly law.

According to JFTC, the nine companies that were inspected are Seibu & Sogo Co., Ltd.; Isetan Mitsukoshi Ltd.; Daimaru Matsuzakaya Department Stores Co., Ltd.; Itochu Corp.; Toyobo STC Co., Ltd.; Marubeni Mates Ltd.; Sojitz General Merchandise Corp.; Nikke Shoji, Co., Ltd.; and Chikuma & Co., Ltd..

According to JR East and JR West, the prices of uniforms are determined after the estimates from uniforms suppliers are compared. However, it is suspected that the prices submitted to JR East and JR West were adjusted in discussions the suppliers held to determine the companies that will receive the orders every year.

JFTC considers that bid-rigging has been conducted for several years, and will continue its investigation with the intention of administrative punishment, such as cease and desist order and surcharges payment order.

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