The Japan Fair Trade Commission is investigating Ichiran Inc., the operator of a popular ramen noodle restaurant chain, for allegedly fixing the retail prices of its products in violation of the antimonopoly law, sources familiar with the matter said Tuesday.

Ichiran, based in the city of Fukuoka, is suspected of forcing retail shops to sell its cup ramen and other products to be eaten at home at recommended prices, apparently in an attempt to keep the prices from crashing and prevent the brand image of its products and restaurant chain from being damaged, according to the sources.

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