Japan charges companies on bid-rigging

| May 23, 2005 | 0 Comments
Japan charges companies on bid-rigging

Eight Japanese companies have been charged with bid-rigging in 2003 and 2004 in order to spread construction orders for steel bridges among themselves while denying contracts to other firms.

The move in charging the companies is an effort to crack down on an institutional practice, called dango, which serves to allocate public works contracts among a select group and excludes many foreign bidders from the process.

Such activities are a violation of anti-monopoly laws in Japan.

A law increasing fines for bid-rigging was passed last month and is expected to take effect next year, but the amounts of the fines were decreased after they were opposed by industry and by some politicians.

Japan’s Fair Trade Commission has been investigating the companies for over six months, since an October search of offices of heavy machinery companies and steel makers to look for evidence.

The accused companies include Yokogawa Bridge, JFE Engineering, Kawada Industries, Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries (IHI), Miyaji Iron Works, TTK, Takadakiko, and Kurimoto.

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