Business / Corporate

Japan FTC orders baby goods maker to stop pricing restrictions

JIJI

The Fair Trade Commission has ordered baby goods maker Aprica Children’s Products G.K. to stop urging retailers to not sell its products below its proposed prices.

The FTC issued the order after it concluded that Aprica restricted pricing by retailers by putting pressure on them in violation of the antimonopoly law.

According to the FTC, Aprica, based in the city of Osaka, asked retailers nationwide and online distributors in May 2016 to sell its products at its proposed prices.

Aprica suspended shipments of its products to merchants who failed to follow its instructions, surveying retail prices and making a list of such sellers, according to the antimonopoly watchdog.

Through the practice, Aprica apparently tried to secure profits amid intensifying competition mainly from online retailers.

In April last year, the FTC inspected Aprica and Combi Corp., a Tokyo-based baby goods maker. Combi is also suspected of urging retailers not to sell its products at a discount, informed sources said.

After the inspections, the lowest price of some products fell by around 20 percent on a price comparison website, the sources said.

Aprica is the top player in both the domestic baby stroller and child car seat markets.

The company said in a statement that it will make efforts to prevent a recurrence of similar misconduct.

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