Japan

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

FUJIFILM'S REBUTTAL REGARDING THE ALLEGED "DISTRIBUTION BOTTLENECK"

Detailed Report by Fujifilm Exposes Kodak's "Distribution Bottleneck" Myth

ELMSFORD, NY, December 21, 1995 -- Fujifilm today submitted a detailed report to the United States Trade Representative that strikes at the heart of Kodak's allegations that a "distribution bottleneck" exists in the Japanese consumer photographic market.

Kodak has claimed that Fujifilm blocks Kodak's access to four primary wholesalers, or tokuyakuten, which Kodak has described as an "essential facility" for selling film in Japan. Fujifilm's document exposes the fallacies behind Kodak's claim by providing detailed evidence of Kodak's wide availability in the Japanese market. Independent market research shows that Kodak has extensive access in retail stores that account for 73% of total film sales in Japan, and that Kodak is widely available throughout Japan, not just in large cities like Tokyo and Osaka.

"This document proves that the heart of Kodak's case -- the so-called 'distribution bottleneck' -- is dead on arrival," said Fujifilm lawyer Bill Barringer. "The fact is that 78 percent of the tokuyakuten's customers already buy Kodak or have established business relationships with Kodak film suppliers. Kodak's argument that it cannot reach the Japanese retailers served by the tokuyakuten is plainly baseless.

"Kodak's problem is not that these retailers do not buy Kodak, or do not have the opportunity to buy Kodak. Kodak's problem is that these retailers do not buy enough Kodak, and the reason for that is that most Japanese consumers prefer the Fuji brand," Barringer said. "Consumer preference, not a sham 'distribution bottleneck,' explains Kodak's market share in Japan."

An executive summary of Fujifilm's USTR submission and supporting documents are attached to this media advisory. The complete text is available upon request, or via the Internet at http://www.fujifilm.co.jp.

 

Contact:

Thomas H. Shay
Fuji Photo Film U.S.A., Inc.
(914)789-8145

Matt Wagner
Edelman Public Relations
(202)326-1751