Investigators from the Fair Trade Commission raided the offices of Mitsubishi Electric Corp.’s elevator maintenance unit and other locations Tuesday, following allegations that the company obstructed its rivals’ bids to repair Mitsubishi elevators.
FTC investigators raided more than 20 locations for evidence that supports allegations that Mitsubishi Electric Building Techno-Service Co. engaged in anticompetitive activities.
The company maintains and repairs elevators sold by Mitsubishi Electric.
Sources close to the FTC said it is looking into claims the company blocked efforts by rival maintenance service providers to repair Mitsubishi-made elevators by delaying the supply of replacement parts.
The FTC is also looking into allegations that the company refused to supply components to other maintenance firms on the pretext that it had run out of the parts, the sources said.
The FTC appears to have concluded that the company’s delays in supplying parts were aimed at preventing the execution of contracts concluded between the company’s rivals and the owners of buildings where the elevators are installed, they said.
Mitsubishi Electric and four other manufacturers account for 70 percent of the elevator market. The five each have maintenance service subsidiaries or affiliates.
The law on building safety requires owners to have elevators inspected at least once a year.
Mitsubishi Electric Building Techno-Service has more than 30 percent share of the elevator maintenance service market, providing related services to more than 180,000 Mitsubishi Electric elevators nationwide.
A company official said, “We have been told only that the on-the-spot investigation concerns our component sales activities, so we are not aware of any more details of this probe. Therefore, we cannot make any further comment on this matter.”
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