A Fair Trade Commission study group has drawn up a report calling for amendment of the Antimonopoly Law to make it stricter and more effective, FTC officials said Tuesday.
To rev up the nation’s economy and support new entries into markets, the FTC should tighten its grip on offenders by raising the amount of fines and revamp the current examination procedures to ensure swift handling of cases, the officials quoted the report as saying.
It would be the biggest change to the Antimonopoly Law since 1977, they said.
The report, compiled by the group headed by Kenichi Miyazawa, a professor emeritus at Hitotsubashi University, asks the FTC to raise the amount of fines for bid-riggers or those who form cartels. At present, fines of up to 6 percent of sales of the products involved, or 3 percent in the case of small and midsize firms, can be imposed.
In the United States, antimonopoly laws allow for fines of 15 percent to 80 percent of related sales, with an upper limit of $10 million, and in the European Union fines of up to 10 percent of total sales of offending firms, with an upper limit of 1 million euros (about $1.17 million), can be levied, according to the FTC.
At the same time, the report recommends that the FTC exempt or reduce the amount of fines if the offenders voluntarily report the cases or stop the wrongdoing, the officials said.
The U.S. and EU have similar lenience systems, according to the FTC.
The report says the FTC should have compulsory investigative authority, like that of the National Tax Agency and the Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission.
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