Japan Fair Trade Commission
The Fair Trade Commission decided to initiate a hearing for Kimmon Mfg. Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as “the Respondent”) on August 25, 2003. Since then the examiners had conducted the hearing, and on January 23, 2004, the Respondent proposed accepting the consent decision based on Section 53-3 of the Antimonopoly Act and Section 81 of the Rules concerning Investigation and Haring by the Fair Trade Commission. The Respondent submitted a written plan about specific measures to be taken. After carefully examining the plan, the specific measures are deemed proper.
Accordingly, the Fair Trade Commission rendered a decision based on the provision of Section 53-3 of the Antimonopoly Act on February 5, 2004.
1. Profile of the Respondent
Kimmon Manufacturing. Co., Ltd.Itabashi-ku, Tokyo
Business: manufacturing and sale of water meters
2. The text of the decision
(1) Hearing case no. 14, 2003 (decision)
Respondent shall pay surcharge 5,240,000 yen to the government by 8 April, 2004
(2) Hearing case no. 17, 2003(decision)
Respondent shall pay surcharge 5,790,000 yen to the government by 8 April, 2004
2. Details of the decision
(1) Facts of violation
Through general competitive bidding, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government orders water meters with 13 mm, 20 mm and 25 mm calibers of the dry and direct reading type. The Respondent and 18 other companies jointly determined the person to accept the order for these water meters, excluding water meters with two or more different calibers which are ordered at the same time, in a bid to increase the prices for the order. This activity was based on an agreement that was entered into by no later than July 19, 2001, and thus restricted competition in substance in the trade of the water meters against the public interest by enabling the person accepting an order to actually accept the order.
(2) Application of laws and ordinances
Section 3 of the Antimonopoly Act (prohibition of unreasonable restraint of trade)
(3) Measures to be taken by the Respondent
A. The Respondent should confirm that the activities mentioned in (1) above are no longer being conducted.
B. The Respondent should notify the Tokyo metropolitan government of the following matters and make the following matters known to the employees of the Respondent without exception.
(a) The measures taken based on the preceding Paragraph
(b) Information to the effect that the Respondent will not jointly determine the person to accept an order and not autonomously carry out order acceptance activities for the above water meters to be ordered by the Tokyo metropolitan government through general competitive bidding in the future
C. The Respondent should refrain from activities similar to this one to modify the acceptance of orders mentioned above.
3. Chronological summary of this matter
July 16, 2003: Recommendation
August 25, 2003: Decision to initiate the hearing
October 9, 2003: First hearing
January 15, 2004: Second hearing
January 23, 2004: Proposal on the consent decision
*Every announcement is tentative translation. Please refer to the original text written in Japanese.