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Wilson Tennis Rackets Submits Commitments To Japanese Watchdog

 |  March 28, 2022

Amer Sports Inc., the main agent in Japan for tennis rackets made by US company Wilson Sporting Goods, is said to be working with the Fair Trade Commission to avoid being charged with violating antitrust laws.

Amer Sports Inc. has submitted a plan to the country’s watchdog to demonstrate that it has stopped blocking efforts by other retailers to import the equipment from overseas sellers and thereby level the playing field in Japan.

JFTC investigators searched the offices of Amer Sports Japan Inc. in September 2020 over suspicions the company actively prevented retailers from importing Wilson Sporting equipment.

As well as Wilson tennis rackets, the company handles products made by French sports equipment manufacturer Salomon and high performance outdoor equipment maker Arc’teryx, according to sources.

Amer Sports Japan allegedly applied pressure on foreign sellers so they did not sell Wilson tennis rackets to Japanese companies seeking to import the equipment through other channels.

Some companies are still facing difficulties handling Wilson products even after the JFTC began its investigation of Amer Sports Japan, according to sources in the sporting goods sector.

An Amer Sports Japan representative said the company was continuing to deal with the investigation by the JFTC but declined further comment.

Interfering with efforts by other importers to purchase products is considered a violation of the Anti-Monopoly Law.

The JFTC will end its investigation of violations by the company if it determines that Amer Sports Japan is keeping to its side of the bargain in terms of the plan it submitted and that the competitive environment for Wilson rackets has improved, sources said.

Read More: Competition Law and Sports in Japan: A New Olympic Legacy?

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