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Kyushu, Chugoku Electric say they will cooperate with Fair Trade Commission probe

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By Kaori Kaneko and Yuka Obayashi

TOKYO, Nov 28 (Reuters) – Japan’s Fair Trade Commission has issued no notice of antitrust fines to Kyushu Electric Power Co 9508.T and Chugoku Electric Power Co 9502.T, the two utilities said on Monday, following a report they were in trouble for anti-competitive behaviour.

In separate statements, each of the two companies said it was under investigation, would cooperate with the commission and would announce further information swiftly if necessary.

The commission declined to comment on a Friday report in the Nikkei newspaper thatit had decided to fine three major utility firms tens of billions of yen in total for breaching antitrust laws.

The regulator would penalise Kyushu Electric, Chugoku Electric and Chubu Electric Power Co 9504.T for agreeing not to expand into each other’s industrial power-supply markets, the Nikkei said.

A spokesperson for Chubu Electric said that company was aware of the report but declined to comment further.

Like other Japanese electricity generators, the three companies are already suffering from rising input costs amid high global energy prices exacerbated by weakness of the yen.

(Reporting by Kaori Kaneko and Yuka Obayashi; Additional reporting by Kantaro Komiya and Miho Uranaka; Editing by David Gregorio and Bradley Perrett)

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