The Handbook of Competition Economics 2017

Japan

19 October 2016

It was not until fairly recently that the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) began emphasising economic analysis in its antitrust enforcement. Until the early 2000s, the Commission’s approach to merger assessment primarily relied on the idea, under the Structure-Conduct-Performance (SCP) paradigm, that the degree of competition in a market was determined by market concentration. Moreover, the JFTC’s investigation approach heavily focused on the documents submitted by the merging parties and on hearings with the applicants’ customers and their competitors. This approach became insufficient for determining whether big mergers substantially restrained competition in concentrated markets within Japan’s economy.