Amazon's Japan unit to return 2 billion yen to suppliers
Japan Today -- Sep 11
Amazon.com Inc's Japan unit has pledged to return around 2 billion yen ($18.8 million) to around 1,400 suppliers after having them shoulder part of the costs to cover discounts the online retailer applied on goods, the antitrust watchdog said Thursday.

The pledge was part of Amazon Japan G.K.'s proposed reforms submitted to the Japan Fair Trade Commission in late August. The commission, which investigated the online retailer in 2018 on suspicion of violating the antitrust law, accepted them on Thursday.

With the reform plan approved by the commission, Amazon Japan is exempted from penalties and there will be no decision on whether it has violated the antitrust law.

The law prohibits companies from abusing their superior positions to illicitly earn profits from other parties by making demands, including for money.

The suppliers are thought to have complied with Amazon's demand to cover discount costs to continue selling their products through its wide sales network.

The Japan unit started asking them to shoulder part of the costs around 2016. The repayment, which covers up to a three-year period, is unusual for its scale.

According to the commission, Amazon Japan forced suppliers in 10 industries, including electronic goods and pet items, to shoulder part of the cost to cover discounts the online retailer applied on products.

値引き分の一部を業者に負担させた問題でアマゾンが返金します。  アマゾンジャパンはおととし3月、商品を値引きして販売した際に「協力金」などの名目で納入業者に一部を補填させたことが独占禁止法違反の疑いがあるとして、公正取引委員会の立ち入り検査を受けました。アマゾンは今後、こうした行為を行わないことや協力金を返金することなどを含む改善計画を提出し、公取がこれを認めたため、10日午後に課徴金納付命令などの行政処分を見送りました。アマゾンは約1400社に合わせて20億円を返金することになります。
News sources: Japan Today, ANNnewsCH
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