The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) today announced that they have signed a Cooperation Arrangement.
ACCC Chairman Rod Sims and JFTC Chairman Kazuyuki Sugimoto signed the agreement at a ceremony on the sidelines of the International Competition Network meeting in Sydney.
“This is the first time the JFTC has concluded an agreement that will enable the JFTC to share confidential information without getting a waiver,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.
“The ACCC looks forward to working closely with Japan on a range of competition law enforcement activities, particularly global mergers and cartels," Mr Sims said.
“This agreement paves the way for increased cooperation and investigative assistance between the agencies on competition matters which affect Australian or Japanese markets.”
"It allows our agencies to assist each other in enforcement activities and exchange information, including confidential details obtained during an investigation," Mr Sims said.
“As cross-border trade increases, it makes sense that competition agencies work together to build and share sound practices and principles.”
Mr Sims said the agreement provides a clear structure for engagement between the two agencies.
“The agreement represents a quantum shift in the already strong relationship between the ACCC and the JFTC. The willingness of the JFTC to enter this unprecedented "second generation" agreement with the ACCC is a great sign of the strength of the relationship between us.”
“The ability to exchange case-specific information and to assist each other in investigations should improve enforcement outcomes in both countries.”
The Cooperation Arrangement builds upon the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement, which commenced on 15 January 2015.
The JFTC administers and enforces Japan’s Anti-Monopoly Law, which addresses merger controls and prohibition on anti-competitive activities.
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