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Akira Inoue

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Dr. Akira Inoue is a partner at Baker McKenzie's Tokyo office, and has been handling cross-border antitrust cases for more than 18 years. He is highly respected for his knowledge of antitrust and competition law, giving presentations at numerous events and having authored 10 books and more than 87 articles on the subject. The government frequently seeks his opinions on competition policy and government reports often cite his articles. Dr. Inoue has been serving Japanese companies as lead defense counsel since becoming involved in the international vitamin cartel case. Most recently, he successfully secured compliance credit for only the second time in the history of antitrust practice and won a 40% fine reduction. He is further distinguished as the sole member of the steering committee of Baker McKenzie's Global Antitrust & Competition Group from the Asia Pacific region. Dr. Inoue has been recognized as a “Leading Individual” by Chambers Asia (2010-2018), Who’s Who Legal (2016-2018) and Best Lawyers in Japan (2017). He is recognized at the lawyer ranking published by Nikkei News Paper (2018).

On 28 January 2022, the Japan Fair Trade Commission published a report warning that setting offering prices for startup companies without sufficient explanation or reasonable grounds may give rise to concerns under the Japanese Anti-Monopoly Act. Given the authority’s close scrutiny of such transactions, securities companies involved in initial public offerings are strongly advised to review their offering price-setting processes, including whether sufficient discussions have been held with the startup companies, to ensure that they are not setting prices unilaterally.

In June 2022, amendments to the Whistleblower Protection Act, which protects employees who have reported violations of certain laws specified in the WPA, are expected to come into force. Amongst other items, the Amended WPA includes a mandatory obligation for companies of a certain size to establish a whistleblowing system with the aim of ensuring the protection of whistleblowers.

JFTC clears merger between Z Holdings Corporation and LNE Corporation

Remarkable digital platform mergers under the JFTC’s revised merger review guidelines. 

This update was published on 16 October 2020 as part of our quarterly newsletter, Asia Pacific Competition Highlights. Click here to access the full report, which covers the most notable antitrust developments across 11 Asia Pacific jurisdictions.

The Department of Justice’s view on corporate compliance took a dramatic turn with the recent announcement of a new policy by the Antitrust Division.  On July 11, 2019, the Antitrust Division declared that it will finally recognize and reward robust compliance programs whereas it previously gave little attention to corporate…