Japan: Watchdog raids three contact lens companies

The Japan Fair Trade Commission raided three contact lens makers Tuesday, June 11, for allegedly forcing retailers not to list prices on their advertisements in violation of the Antimonopoly Law, it was learned Tuesday.

The antitrust watchdog’s on-site inspections covered Alcon Japan, CooperVision Japan, and Seed. All of them are based in Tokyo.

The three are suspected of forcing retailers not to list the prices of some disposable contact lenses on flyers or online ads, and effectively banning them from selling certain products online.

The makers are believed to have put pressure on retailers that failed to follow their instructions, telling them through wholesalers that the supply of products to them might be suspended.

On their flyers and other ads, retailers used such phrases as “special prices” and “10 percent cuts from shop prices” for some products, without indicating what they were priced as, informed sources said.

The three companies apparently attempted to prevent prices of their products from falling as a result of the competition, thereby securing profits, the sources said.

Full Content: Japan Times

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