The Fair Trade Commission said Tuesday it has urged Usen Corp., the largest cable broadcaster in Japan, and its agent to permanently halt a price-cutting practice that the FTC says is unfair.
The antimonopoly watchdog said, however, it has withdrawn an earlier request filed with the Tokyo High Court for an emergency order aimed at halting the practice, since the two companies have suspended its use.
Usen and the agent, Nippon Network Vision Corp., have decided to accept the recommendation.
The FTC said that in August last year, the two companies began to offer unfair price discounts on services to customers of a rival operator, Cansystem Co., in a bid to monopolize the Japanese cable broadcasting market.
The two companies offered a discount of more than 1,000 yen on the 4,500 yen monthly broadcasting service fee — as well as a fee-free period of more than three months — for customers of Cansystem.
As a result, some 60,000 customers switched over to the Usen service in one year, it said.
Concerned that the practice could endanger Cansystem’s survival, the FTC requested the emergency court order last June.
Usen voluntarily suspended the practice in July, prompting the FTC to withdraw the request, the commission said.
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