The Fair Trade Commission on Tuesday warned Mitsubishi Electric Building Techno-Service Co. to stop sabotaging its competitors.

The company has been sabotaging its competitors’ business activities since around 1995, when their market share began to grow on the strength of cheaper maintenance fees, the FTC said.

The company, Japan’s largest elevator and escalator maintenance firm, is owned by manufacturing giant Mitsubishi Electric Corp.

The FTC’s warning comes after it conducted a search of Mitsubishi Electric Building’s head office and branches in April 2001. Corporate sabotage is a violation of the Antimonopoly Law.

When competing firms were asked to service elevators or escalators manufactured by Mitsubishi Electric and needed parts from Mitsubishi Electric Building, the company intentionally delayed them or sold them at higher prices than usual, the FTC said.

Some of the competing firms’ contracts were canceled because of the delays, and some of the nullified contracts were later awarded to Mitsubishi Electric Building, it said.

A spokesman for the company said it has never sabotaged its competitors, adding that it is “truly regrettable that the FTC did not accept our position.”

“We’ll decide what to do with the warning after scrutinizing it,” the spokesman said.

Mitsubishi Electric Building controls more than 30 percent of the elevator and escalator maintenance market, which is estimated to be worth 360 billion yen.

The Building Standard Law requires elevators and escalators to undergo annual checkups. There are an estimated 610,000 elevators and escalators in service in Japan.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.