Japan

Fujifilm's views on Kodak's procedure under the section 301 petition

Statement of Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd. Release of the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) Report of Survey of Japanese Consumer Photographic Film and Paper Market

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July 23, 1997

The JFTC released its report on the results of its survey of the Japanese consumer photographic film and paper industry.

Although we at Fujifilm have not had a chance to review the report in detail, we do have the following immediate comments based on the summary part of the report:

  1. Fujifilm appreciates and deeply respects the JFTC for the detailed and thorough effort reflected in its survey and analysis of this market.
  2. In Fujifilm's view, this survey was initiated partly in response to the "film case" that originated with Kodak's unjustified claims under section 301 of the US Trade Act. The JFTC's report, which is based on "the detailed and meticulous investigation of the facts" and "objective data," clearly demonstrates that there is no market access barrier or other structural anticompetitive problem in Japanese photographic film and paper market, and that Fujifilm's practices do not violate the Anti-Monopoly Law (AML).
  3. The "film case" is now pending before a World Trade Organization panel. Since determining the facts is without a doubt essential to the panel's review, we believe this survey has again substantiated the position that we and the Japanese Government have presented to date.
  4. The JFTC's thorough and detailed survey and analysis have produced a number of key facts and objective data. Among the JFTC's most important finding are:
    1. (1) The vast majority of retailers, whether they be photo specialty stores or large stores, actually carry Kodak film, or have a supply source through which they get Kodak film if they want to carry it.
      This shows that the "distribution bottleneck" (access barrier to the retailer) alleged by Kodak does not exist.
      (2) Consumer brand loyalty is stronger for film than for other products in Japan, and the overwhelming majority of Japanese consumer give Fuji film very high percentages of brand loyalty.
      The JFTC report has thus confirm the fact that the market share in Japanese photographic film market reflects consumer's brand choice, not some "distribution problem" as Kodak claims.
      (3) No Fujifilm practices violate the Anti-Monopoly Law (AML).
      After a year-long, detailed and careful investigation, Fujifilm understands that the JFTC has confirmed that Fujifilm has not violated AML.
  5. In addition, the JFTC reports makes it clear that the major independent wholesalers are not restricted, by contract or otherwise, from carrying multiple brands of film and carrying a single brand film (i.e. Fuji film) is the results of the wholesaler's individual and independent decisions.

    The JFTC's finding again confirms that Kodak's allegation is baseless. Fujifilm has always respected the voluntary decisions of the wholesaler's, and will continue to respect them.

  6. The JFTC also made several comments aimed at assuring the continuation of competitive and open market for photographic film and paper market in Japan. Some of those relate to Fujifilm. Recognizing our position in the Japanese photographic market we give the highest levels of attention and respect to the AML and Japanese competition policy.
    Finally, we reaffirm our clear commitment to competing fairly in the marketplace and to complying with the AML.

 

Contact:

Ken Sugiyama
International Corporate Communications
Phone: (3406) 2490