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Japan’s Antitrust Watchdog Filed A Criminal Complaint Over Tokyo Olympics Cartel

 |  February 28, 2023

Japan’s antitrust authority has filed a criminal complaint to the country’s public prosecutor against six companies and seven individuals that allegedly conspired to rig dozens of bids to advertise and plan test events for the recent Tokyo Summer Olympics.

The defendants are accused of engaging in a cartel to fix prices for bids on 77 contracts worth a combined 1.36 billion yen ($12.8 million), the Japan Fair Trade Commission said in a statement.

The defendants include representatives of Dentsu Inc., the organizing committee’s main advertising agency, and officials from the Tokyo metropolitan government and the Japan Sport Council, which manages sports facilities.

Read more: Ex-Tokyo Olympics Official Arrested In Bid-Rigging Case

The JFTC decided to refer the Tokyo Olympics cartel case to public prosecutors as the allegations of wrongdoing by the contractors and advertisers were serious enough to warrant legal action. This case is not only about illegal activities but also about the misuse of power and authority by a small group of individuals and organizations that had conspired to rig bids for contracts related to the Olympic Games.

The Tokyo Olympics cartel case has deep connections to the advertising and planning of the Olympic events. The case is based on the allegations of some of the contractors and advertising agencies conspiring in a bid-rigging scheme to illegally inflate prices of contracts related to the organizing committee’s work. The Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) has stated that the defendants are involved in the fixing of prices for 77 contracts worth a combined 1.36 billion yen ($12.8 million).

If the case proceeds to a criminal trial, the accused could face fines, imprisonment, and other penalties depending on the nature of their actions. In any case, it is important that proper justice is served and the people of Japan are compensated for their losses.