The United States expressed concern that the planned revisions to the Antimonopoly Law lifting the ban on holding companies might lead to a strengthening of “keiretsu” relationships among Japanese firms, according to documents released Sept. 19.

The comments were made in response to the U.S. Fair Trade Commission’s call for opinions from the public and concerned parties before it finalizes guidelines for interpretations of the revised law by December. The U.S. urged that the commission’s ability to prevent or correct anticompetitive corporate groups be raised, the possibility of firms circumventing the Antimonopoly Law be minimized and that maximum transparency be offered in the notification and review process for holding companies.

On financial holding companies, the U.S. said it had concerns over how the FTC would keep financial firms from securing too great a stockholding position in major nonfinancial companies. It suggested that the current combined stockholding ratio rule, now 10 percent for insurance firms and 5 percent for other financial companies, be retained in some form.

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