November 30, 2020

Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten raided by anti-monopoly officials

1 min read

Japanese antitrust officials raided the offices of e-commerce company Rakuten Inc on Monday after complaints from online merchants about the company’s free shipping policies, prompting its shares to briefly fall by as much as 3per cent.

The logo of Rakuten is pictured at the headquarters of Rakuten in Tokyo
The logo of Rakuten is pictured at the headquarters of Rakuten in Tokyo, Japan, May 15, 2019. REUTERS/Sam Nussey/Files

TOKYO: Japanese antitrust officials raided the offices of e-commerce company Rakuten Inc on Monday after complaints from online merchants about the company’s free shipping policies, prompting its shares to briefly fall by as much as 3per cent.

A Rakuten spokeswoman confirmed the raid and said the company was cooperating with the investigation.

Companies selling their products on Rakuten have complained that the e-commerce giant was abusing its dominant position and putting pressure on them to shoulder shipping costs.

Rakuten plans to make shipping free for orders above 3,980 yen (US$36.26) starting March 18, in an effort to compete with rivals such as Amazon.com .

The company’s shares were down 1.4per cent at 862 yen.

(Reporting by Sam Nussey and Ritsuko Ando; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)