The Fair Trade Commission has ordered Seven-Eleven Japan Co., the nation’s biggest convenience-store chain operator, to stop preventing its franchise stores from selling food products at discount prices. The antimonopoly watchdog decided that the company took advantage of its dominant position vis-a-vis franchise stores and imposed its will in the pricing of articles, thus violating the Antimonopoly Law.

The FTC decision could lead to a change in the prevailing business practice in the convenient-store industry — placing a relatively wide assortment of articles in relatively large numbers at stores and selling them at prices recommended by the chain operators without discounting them. The decision has also reminded people of the large amount of waste produced by stores — an inevitable feature involved in convenience-store operations.

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