Japan’s Regulator Looks At High Mobile Rates

Japan’s major mobile carriers will face scrutiny of their sales practices to encourage healthy market competition, the chief of the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) told Nikkei

“We must step in if consumer convenience is being undermined,” said Chairman Kazuyuki Furuya, who assumed the post last month. The goal is to ensure consumer interests are not being harmed by high prices resulting from the lack of competition or by low quality services. 

“The hope is to contribute to creating an environment that will bring down mobile service prices,” he said.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has made it clear that he wants to see Japan’s relatively high mobile service fees brought down on his watch. Under pressure, the nation’s top three carriers, NTT Docomo, KDDI, and SoftBank, have all signaled they plan to lower their rates. 

The JFTC also conducted a probe into the practices of mobile carriers in June 2018, and warned that package sales that bind consumers to four-year contracts could be in violation of antitrust law.

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