Competition Economics Handbook 2019

Japan

30 October 2018

It was not until 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 approach to investigations focused heavily 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.