The Council for the Antimonopoly Act (Council), a private council of the chief cabinet secretary, has issued a final report of its suggested amendments to the Antimonopoly Act. The product of more than 35 meetings of the Council, the report recommends various measures aimed at strengthening the Act’s enforcement provisions.

The Council’s final report proposes, inter alia, that violations of the provisions of the Antimonopoly Act prohibiting private monopolization through elimination of competitors should be subject to surcharge as are unreasonable restraints of trade, such as price fixing and bidrigging. Currently, only private monopolization arising from the control of activities of other companies is subject to surcharge under the Antimonopoly Act. In addition, the Council’s report recommends that further consideration be given to the introduction of fines against certain unfair trade practices including deceptive customer inducement and the abuse of dominant bargaining position. Unfair trade practices are currently prohibited under the Antimonopoly Act, but are not enforced with monetary penalties.

The Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) has indicated that it intends to consider the Council’s recommendations.