Daiei Inc., the nation’s largest retail chain, announced Wednesday that it has established a holding company to strengthen its financial condition, becoming the first company to take advantage of a change in the Antimonopoly Law.

The revision in the Antimonopoly Law, which cleared the Diet in June and took effect Wednesday, lifted a half-century ban on the establishment of holding companies. Holding companies were outlawed after World War II to prevent a resurgence of the prewar and wartime “zaibatsu” conglomerates that wielded huge financial and industrial influence.

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