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JFTC issues a recommendation to a manufacturer of sporting equipments, YONEX K.K

October 24/2003
Japan Fair Trade Commission

The Japan Fair Trade Commission hereby issues the following recommendation to YONEX based on the stipulations of Section 48 Paragraph 1 of the Antimonopoly Act and in accordance with its finding, after an investigation based on the stipulations of the same Act, that YONEX is in violation of Section 19 of said Act (corresponding to item 15 of Designation of Unfair Trade Practices:Interference with a competitor’s transactions).
1 Firm to receive recommendation

YONEX K.K. Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo
Main business: manufacturing and selling of sporting equipments
2. Outline of violation

The JFTC has found that YONEX is unjustly hindering the business of import/sales companies and their clients through the following actions in its business dealings related to badminton feather shuttlecocks* manufactured and sold by YONEX:
a. i. YONEX is a) urging specific client retailers to sell YONEX feather shuttlecocks that it markets to compete against feather shuttlecocks sold by import/sales companies that use direct-order and other sales methods (hereinafter referred to as “the import/sales companies”) and to push customers that use the import/sales companies’ feather shuttlecocks to switch from the import/sales companies’ feather shuttlecocks to said YONEX feather shuttlecocks, and b) urging customers that use the import/sales companies’ feather shuttlecocks to refrain from doing so, and
 ii. In cases where client retailers sell the import/sales companies’ feather shuttlecocks, YONEX is urging the above-mentioned client retailers to refrain from selling said feather shuttlecocks by suggesting that it will not supply them with the above-mentioned YONEX product if they continue to do so.
b. In cases where the names of client retailers are listed on import/sales companies’ Internet websites as client retailers, YONEX is urging client retailers to refrain from selling the import/sales companies’ feather shuttlecocks by having their names removed from such websites.
c. YONEX is urging promoters and organizers of badminton competitions to not use import/sales companies’ feather shuttlecocks by demanding that they not accept support from import/sales companies or not designate the import/sales companies’ feather shuttlecocks for use in said competitions by hinting that, if they accept support from import/sales companies (supply of feather shuttlecocks, etc.), YONEX will withhold its support for said competition.

*”Feather shuttlecocks” are shuttlecocks made with waterfowl feathers.
3. Outline of elimination measures

a. YONEX shall refrain from the activities mentioned in item 2 above
b. YONEX shall notify import/sales companies, client retailers, and promoters/organizers of badminton competitions of the measures that it takes based on item 3a above as well as its pledge to not conduct actions similar to those mentioned in item 2 above in the future. At the same time, YONEX shall make far-reaching efforts to make these points thoroughly known by its employees.
c. YONEX shall not engage in activities similar to these described in item 2 above in the future.
4. Limitation of acceptance or rejection of this recommendation

November 10, 2003
(If the recommendation is accepted by YONEX, a decision consisting of the same items contained in this recommendation shall be issued; if the recommendation is rejected by YONEX, hearing procedures shall commence.)

*Every announcement is tentative translation. Please refer to the original text written in Japanese.


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