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JFTC issues a warning and caution to manufacturers and sellers of MO drive products concerning the representations on the speed of data reading

April 8/2004
Japan Fair Trade Commission

The Fair Trade Commission conducted an investigation into representations about MO drives (NOTE 1), and found that Buffalo Inc. (hereinafter “Buffalo”) made the representation mentioned in 1 (1) below, and today issued a warning to the company to the effect that there is a possibility that it is in violation of Section 4 (prohibition of misleading representations) of the Premiums and Representations Act.
 In addition, the Fair Trade Commission found that representations that were made by major firms other than Buffalo that are engaged in the manufacturing and sale of MO drives,and major entrepreneurs that are engaged in the manufacturing and sale of LAN access points (hereinafter “wireless LAN”) (NOTE 2) will possibly be in violation of the Premiums and Representations Act. Therefore, the Fair Trade Commission has issued a caution to these firms to prevent violations in advance.

(NOTE1) MO drives denote magneto-optical recording devices which record, store (write) and retrieve (read) data prepared by using personal computer in and from plate-shaped MO discs with large capacity.

(NOTE2) Wireless LAN access points are for wireless communication between wireless LAN cards, etc. attached to personal computers through connections to telephone lines or ADSL modems, etc. and used for the Internet, etc.

1. Representations about MO drives

(1) Outline of the warning to Buffalo

A. Profile of Buffalo
1 Company name: Buffalo Inc.
2 Address: Minami Ward, Nagoya City

B. Description of the acts
 Buffalo made the following representations that are suspected of causing misunderstanding among consumers in the commodity package of “MO-CH640U2,” the MO drive product which Buffalo started to sell from April 2002,
 (i) Detail of representation
 By including the statements “ultra-high speed five-speed MO! dealing with USB 2.0” and “*Five-speed is based on the comparison of the speed of reading and transmission with the time of connection to USB 1.1,” a representation was made to suggest that the reading of data recorded in MO discs by the product in question can always be made at five-speed when connected to USB 2.0, in comparison with a connection to USB 1.1
 (ii) Facts
 The speed can be obtained in extremely limited recording conditions, and data cannot always be read at five-speed.

 The speed can be obtained in extremely limited recording conditions, and data cannot always be read at five-speed.

(2) Caution to firms other than Buffalo engaging in the manufacture and sale of MO drives

 There are major firms other than Buffalo engaging in the manufacture and sale of MO drives that have failed to explain fully that, with respect to their representations about the speed of reading and writing data, the indicated speed can be realized in limited recording conditions. There is a possibility that these firms will be in violation of the Premiums and Representations Act. The Fair Trade Commission has therefore issued a caution to the major firms making these representations to prevent violations in advance.

2. Caution to firms engaging in the manufacturing and sale of the wireless LAN

The Fair Trade Commission has conducted an investigation into the representations of the wireless LAN, the market for which has recently been expanding, and has found cases in which, with respect to the transmission speed of data, the speed of transmission indicated on product packaging, etc. is simply the standard theoretical speed and cannot be realized in actual use,but no explanation of this is made or else the explanation is insufficient. There is a possibility that the entrepreneurs will be in violation of the Premiums and Representations Act.
Therefore,the Fair Trade Commission has issued a caution to the major firms making these representations to prevent violations in advance.

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



Japan Fair Trade Commission:

100-8987 1-1-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo,Japan
Tel: +81-3-3581-1998
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