The 2013 Amendments to Japan’s Anti-Monopoly Act: Some History and a Preliminary Evaluation

Oct 07, 2014

CPI Asia Column edited by Vanessa Zhang (Global Economics Group) presents:

The 2013 Amendments to Japan’s Anti-Monopoly Act: Some History and a Preliminary Evaluation – Mel Marquis (European University Institute, Florence) & Shingo Seryo (Doshisha University, Kyoto)*

In this paper we discuss the main features of the 2013 amendments to Japan’s Anti-Monopoly Act (the ‘AMA’). The paper is divided into three parts. To provide an evolutionary perspective, Part I contains a condensed historical background of Japanese antimonopoly policy. Part II presents aspects of the 2013 amendments that we would highlight for an international audience. Part III provides a preliminary evaluation of this latest round of reforms.

I. Short tour of seven decades

With around 20 different series of amendments made to the Anti-Monopoly Act thus far, together with various vicissitudes of policy, the evolutions of Japanese competition law and policy are long and complex. They have been recounted on numerous occasions, and occasionally the story has been told in English.1 We therefore do not belabor the history too much here. Nevertheless, it is worth recalling some of the notable milestones and setbacks so that the latest changes to the AMA may be seen in their historical context.

In parallel with analogous events that unfolded in Germany in the aftermath of World War II, the foreign powers occupying Japan, and specifically the US military wing operating as ‘GHQ’ (Gene…

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