A quartet of partners lead the competition practice at ANDERSON MŌRI & TOMOTSUNE – Hideto Ishida, Shigeyoshi Ezaki, Yusuke Nakano and Atsushi Yamada. They work alongside five other partners, 2 counsel and a legion of 30 associates.
The firm advised on some of the major global mergers that required filing with the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) in 2019 and 2020, including acting for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles on its merger with Peugeot SA. That deal, which will create the fourth largest carmaker in the world by volume and the third biggest by sales, remained pending at the time of writing. The firm acted for Tokyo-based messaging app LINE – a subsidiary of Korean internet giant Naver – in its merger with Z Holdings – the operator of Yahoo! Japan’s online services. The JFTC conditionally cleared the deal in August 2020, finding that it would not substantially limit competition so long as the merged company submitted annual reports on market size and competition in the market for smartphone-based payment services for three years. The team also secured unconditional clearance for IBM on its merger with Red Hat, which closed in the summer of 2019.
On behavioural matters, the firm acts for building materials company Bunka Shutter in a long-running dispute that began when the JFTC issued a cease-and-desist order and fine against the company in 2010 for allegedly participating in a price-fixing cartel. The JFTC’s tribunal in August 2020 dismissed a portion of the fines against Bunka and its co-conspirators, but dropped the remaining appeal requests. The team also represents one of the largest manufacturers of corrugated box products in an administrative hearing before the JFTC, which remained pending at the time of writing. Additionally, the firm advised AP Møller – Mærsk and Mediterranean Shipping Company in filing amendments to notifications under the Maritime Transportation Act, which it required to obtain antitrust immunity on the 2M Alliance between shippers.