The Fair Trade Commission (FTC) conducted on-site inspections of four major nonlife insurers Tuesday over allegations they formed a cartel to prearrange premiums for joint insurance contracts with corporate and public entities.

Twenty-two locations including the head offices of Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance, Sompo Japan Insurance, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance and Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance were inspected on suspicion of forming the cartel in violation of the antimonopoly law. Two insurance agencies were also inspected.

The antimonopoly watchdog, which had asked the insurers to voluntarily submit related documents, seems to have judged that it needs to use its legal authority to bring the whole truth to light. It will apparently consider taking administrative measures such as issuing a cease and desist order and imposing surcharges.