不当廉売に関する独占禁止法上の考え方
  法令番号: 改正: 辞書バージョン:10.0 翻訳日:平成27年10月14日
GUIDELINES CONCERNING UNJUST LOW PRICE SALES UNDER THE ANTIMONOPOLY ACT
  Law number: Amendment: Dictionary Ver: 10.0 Translation date: October 14, 2015


不当廉売に関する独占禁止法上の考え方
GUIDELINES CONCERNING UNJUST LOW PRICE SALES UNDER THE ANTIMONOPOLY ACT
不当廉売に関する独占禁止法上の考え方
GUIDELINES CONCERNING UNJUST LOW PRICE SALES UNDER THE ANTIMONOPOLY ACT
1 はじめに
1. Introduction
不当廉売は,私的独占の禁止及び公正取引の確保に関する法律(昭和22年法律第54号。以下「独占禁止法」という。)において,不公正な取引方法の一つとして禁止されている。不当廉売の規定は,平成21年法律第51号及び不公正な取引方法(昭和57年公正取引委員会告示第15号)の改正によって,次のようになった。
Unjust low price sales are banned by the Act on Prohibition of Private Monopolization and Maintenance of Fair Trade (Act No. 54 of 1947; hereinafter referred to as the "Antimonopoly Act") as one of forms of unfair trade practices. The provisions on unjust low price sales have been revised as follows by Act No. 51 of 2009 and the revision of the Designation of Unfair Trade Practices (Fair Trade Commission Public Notice No. 15 of 1982):
①独占禁止法第2条第9項第3号
(1) Article 2, paragraph (9), item (iii) of the Antimonopoly Act
正当な理由がないのに,商品又は役務をその供給に要する費用を著しく下回る対価で継続して供給することであつて,他の事業者の事業活動を困難にさせるおそれがあるもの
Without justifiable grounds, supplying goods or services continuously for a consideration which is excessively below the costs required for the supply, thereby being likely to cause difficulties to the business activities of other entrepreneurs
②不公正な取引方法第6項
(2) Paragraph (6) of the Designation of Unfair Trade Practices
法第2条第9項第3号に該当する行為のほか,不当に商品又は役務を低い対価で供給し,他の事業者の事業活動を困難にさせるおそれがあること。
In addition to any act falling under the provisions of Article 2, paragraph (9), item (iii) of the Antimonopoly Act, unjustly supplying goods or services for a low consideration, thereby being likely to cause difficulties to the business activities of other entrepreneurs.
このうち,独占禁止法第2条第9項第3号に規定する不当廉売(以下「法定不当廉売」という。)を行った事業者が,過去10年以内に法定不当廉売を行ったとして行政処分を受けたことがあるなど一定の条件を満たす場合には,課徴金の納付が命じられることになった(注1)。このため,不当廉売に係る法運用の透明性,事業者の予見可能性を向上させる観点から,公正取引委員会は,法定不当廉売の要件のうち,特に「供給に要する費用を著しく下回る対価」に重点を置いて,不当廉売に関する独占禁止法上の考え方を従前よりも明確化するため,「不当廉売に関する独占禁止法上の考え方」(昭和59年11月20日公正取引委員会事務局)を一部改定することとした。
It has been decided that, among these acts, any entrepreneur who engages in the unjust low price sales prescribed in Article 2, paragraph (9), item (iii) of the Antimonopoly Act (hereinafter referred to as "statutory unjust low price sales") and who satisfies certain requirements, such as having received an administrative disposition for engaging in statutory unjust low price sales within the past ten years, shall be ordered to pay a surcharge (Note 1). Therefore, from the viewpoint of increasing the transparency of law enforcement and enhancing entrepreneurs' foreseeability with regard to unjust low price sales, the Fair Trade Commission has decided to partially revise the Guidelines Concerning Unjust Low Price Sales under the Antimonopoly Act (November 20, 1984; General Secretariat, Fair Trade Commission) in order to clarify said guidelines further by focusing particularly on "a consideration which is excessively below the costs required for the supply" from among the requirements for statutory unjust low price sales.
なお,これは不当廉売の規定の適用に当たり,留意すべき事項を示したものであり,具体的なケースについては,個々の事案ごとに判断を要するものであることはいうまでもない。
These guidelines only indicate the matters to be taken into consideration when applying the provisions to unjust low price sales. Actual cases must, of course, be judged in light of individual circumstances.
(注1)法定不当廉売に該当する行為に対しては,独占禁止法第2条第9項第3号の規定だけを適用すれば足りるので,当該行為に不公正な取引方法第6項の規定が適用されることはない。
(Note 1) Since any act that is categorized as statutory unjust low price sales can be sufficiently dealt with by applying only the provisions of Article 2, paragraph (9), item (iii) of the Antimonopoly Act, the provisions of paragraph (6) of the Designation of Unfair Trade Practices are never applied to such act.
2 不当廉売規制の目的
2. The purposes of regulations concerning unjust low price sales
独占禁止法の目的は,いうまでもなく公正かつ自由な競争を維持・促進することにあり,事業者が創意により良質・廉価な商品又は役務(以下単に「商品」という。)を供給しようとする努力を助長しようとするものである。この中でも,企業努力による価格競争は,本来,競争政策が維持促進しようとする能率競争(良質・廉価な商品を提供して顧客を獲得する競争をいう。)の中核をなすものである。この意味で,価格の安さ自体を不当視するものではないことは当然であるが,逆に価格の安さを常に正当視するものでもない。企業の効率性によって達成した低価格で商品を提供するのではなく,採算を度外視した低価格によって顧客を獲得しようとするのは,独占禁止法の目的からみて問題がある場合があり,そのような場合には,規制の必要がある。正当な理由がないのにコストを下回る価格,いいかえれば他の商品の供給による利益その他の資金を投入するのでなければ供給を継続することができないような低価格を設定することによって競争者の顧客を獲得することは,企業努力又は正常な競争過程を反映せず,廉売を行っている事業者(以下「廉売行為者」という。)自らと同等又はそれ以上に効率的な事業者の事業活動を困難にさせるおそれがあり,公正な競争秩序に影響を及ぼすおそれがある場合もあるからである。
The purpose of the Antimonopoly Act is to maintain and promote fair and free competition, and to encourage entrepreneurs' efforts to provide high-quality, inexpensive goods and services (hereinafter collectively referred to as "goods") through their creative initiative. In particular, the price competition through corporate efforts essentially constitutes the core of the competition on the merits (meaning the competition by which entrepreneurs win customers by supplying high-quality and low-price products), that competition policy aims to maintain and promote. In this sense, low prices in themselves are not immediately considered to be improper, as a matter of course, but neither are they always considered to be proper. There is no problem in providing goods at a low price that has been achieved through an enterprise's efficient operations, but if an enterprise tries to acquire customers by offering a low price that totally disregards profitability, it is possible that such behavior runs counter to the purposes of the Antimonopoly Act and, if so, needs to be regulated. This is because an act of winning away the customers of a competitor by pricing, without justifiable grounds, goods below costs - setting such a low price that the supply of the goods cannot be continued unless the losses thereby incurred were compensated for by profits from the supply of other goods, or by other sources of funds - does not reflect corporate efforts or the proper competition process, and it could tend to cause difficulties to the business activities of entrepreneurs that are just as efficient as or more efficient than the entrepreneur engaged in the unjust low price sales (hereinafter referred to as the "price cutter") and could harm the fair competition order.
3 独占禁止法第2条第9項第3号の規定
3. Provisions of Article 2, paragraph (9), item (iii) of the Antimonopoly Act
独占禁止法第2条第9項第3号の規定は,次のとおりである。
The provisions of Article 2, paragraph (9), item (iii) of the Antimonopoly Act read as follows:
三 正当な理由がないのに,商品又は役務をその供給に要する費用を著しく下回る対価で継続して供給することであつて,他の事業者の事業活動を困難にさせるおそれがあるもの
(iii) Without justifiable grounds, supplying goods or services continuously for a consideration which is excessively below the costs required for the supply, thereby being likely to cause difficulties to the business activities of other entrepreneurs
同号の要件は,①廉売の態様(価格・費用基準及び継続性),②「他の事業者の事業活動を困難にさせるおそれ」,③正当な理由の三つの面からとらえることができる。
The requirements under this item are construed from the following three aspects: 1) the mode of price cutting (the price/cost relationships and continuity); 2) the likelihood of causing difficulties to the business activities of other entrepreneurs; and 3) a lack of justifiable grounds for the price cutting.
(1)廉売の態様
(1) Mode of price cutting
ア 価格・費用基準
A. Price/cost relationships
(ア)価格・費用基準すなわち「供給に要する費用を著しく下回る対価」という要件は,前記2の不当廉売規制の目的に即して解釈すべきである。
(A) The price/cost relationships, that is, the requirement "a consideration which is excessively below the costs required for the supply," should be construed in accordance with the purposes of regulations concerning unjust low price sales set forth in 2. above.
(イ)すなわち,不当廉売規制の目的の一つは,廉売行為者自らと同等又はそれ以上に効率的な事業者の事業活動を困難にさせるおそれがあるような廉売を規制することにある。仮に,廉売行為者自らと同等に効率的な事業者,例えば,廉売行為者と同じ費用で商品を供給することができる事業者が存在し,又は参入を検討していたとしても,商品の供給が増大するにつれ損失が拡大するような価格でしか供給することができないのであれば,むしろ,供給をしない方が費用の負担を免れることができることから,供給を継続せずに撤退し,又は参入を断念する方がよいことになる。つまり,廉売行為者自身がその費用すら下回る価格で供給を行えば,他の事業者も廉売行為者と同じ価格で供給せざるを得なくなり,仮に,他の事業者が同じ費用で供給することができたとしても,早晩,撤退又は参入断念を余儀なくされることを意味する。このように,廉売行為者自らと同等に効率的な事業者の事業の継続等に係る判断に影響を与える価格であるかどうかは,それが当該廉売行為者自身にとって直ちに損失をもたらす水準にあるかどうかに左右されることになる。したがって,「供給に要する費用」とは,廉売行為者の「供給に要する費用」であり,業界一般の「供給に要する費用」又は現実に存在する特定の競争者の費用ではない。
(B) Specifically, one of the purposes of regulations concerning unjust low price sales is to regulate price cutting that is likely to cause difficulties to the business activities of entrepreneurs that are just as efficient as or more efficient than the price cutter. Even where an entrepreneur that is just as efficient as the price cutter, such as one who is capable of supplying goods at the same cost as the price cutter, exists or is considering market entry, if goods can only be supplied at such a low price that would expand losses as more goods are supplied, it would be better for such entrepreneur to decide not to enter the market or to discontinue the supply and withdraw from the market in order to avoid incurring costs from the supply. In other words, if the price cutter supplies goods at a price that is even lower than the costs of the supply, other entrepreneurs would have no choice but to supply their goods at the same price as that of the price cutter. Even if the other entrepreneurs could supply their goods at the same low price, they would be forced to decide not to enter the market or to withdraw from the market sooner or later. In this manner, the question of whether or not a certain price affects the decision regarding the continuation of business, etc. of entrepreneurs that are just as efficient as the price cutter would be analyzed by whether said price is at such a level that immediately causes losses to the price cutter himself/herself. Therefore, the "costs required for the supply" means the "costs required for the supply" by the price cutter itself, and neither the general costs required for supply of the goods in the relevant industry in general nor such costs required by any specific competitor that actually exists.
(ウ)前記2の不当廉売規制の目的からみて,事業者が自らの企業努力又は正常な競争過程を反映した価格設定を行うことは妨げられていない。例えば,商品の価格が「供給に要する費用」,すなわち総販売原価(注2)を下回っていても,供給を継続した方が当該商品の供給に係る損失が小さくなるときは,当該価格で供給することは合理的である。このような観点から,価格・費用基準は,廉売行為者にとって明らかに経済合理性のない価格設定であるかを判断することができるものとすることが適切である。この点,商品の供給が増大するにつれ損失が拡大するような価格設定行動は,特段の事情がない限り,経済合理性のないものであるということができる。したがって,価格設定についての経済合理性の有無は,廉売の対象となった商品(以下「廉売対象商品」という。)を供給することによって発生する費用と価格との比較により判断することが適当である(注3)。これにより,事業者が採算に合うと考えて設定した価格が違法とされることを懸念し事業活動に影響が生じる可能性をできるだけ少なくすることができる。
(C) In light of the purposes of regulations concerning unjust low price sales set forth in 2. above, entrepreneurs are not precluded from setting prices that reflect their own corporate efforts or a proper competition process. For example, even where the price of goods is lower than the "costs required for the supply," or, the total cost of sales (Note 2), if the losses pertaining to the supply of the goods are to become smaller by continuing to supply the goods, it would be rational to supply the goods at that price. From such viewpoint, an appropriate price/cost relationship would be one that can be used to determine whether or not a certain price setting obviously lacks economic rationality for the price cutter. In this respect, a price setting that would expand losses as more goods are supplied can be deemed to lack economic rationality unless there are special circumstances. Thus, it is appropriate to determine whether or not a certain price setting lacks economic rationality by comparing the costs that arise by supplying the goods that were made subject to price cutting (hereinafter referred to as the "price-cut goods") and the price of said goods (Note 3). Such approach would minimize the risk of provoking concerns among entrepreneurs that what they consider to be a remunerative price would be regarded as being illegal, and thereby negatively affecting such entrepreneurs' business activities.
(注2)総販売原価とは,廉売対象商品の供給に要するすべての費用を合計したものであり,通常の製造業では,製造原価に販売費及び一般管理費を加えたもの,通常の販売業では,仕入原価に販売費及び一般管理費を加えたものである。
(Note 2) The total cost of sales corresponds to the sum of all costs required for supplying the price-cut goods. For an ordinary manufacturing business, it is the production costs plus the selling costs and general and administrative costs, whereas for an ordinary selling business, it is the purchasing costs plus the selling costs and general and administrative costs.
ここでの「製造原価」とは,当期の製造活動によって完成した全製品の製造に要した費用の合計である製造原価報告書上の当期製品製造原価ではなく,当該廉売によって販売された製品の製造に要した費用の合計額のことである。仕入原価,販売費及び一般管理費についても同様であり,当該廉売によって販売された製品の仕入れ,販売及び管理に要した費用の合計額のことである。
The term "production costs" here does not mean the "cost of all goods manufactured for the account period" as indicated in the production cost report, which is the total costs required for manufacturing all of the goods finished through the manufacturing activities during the current period; rather, it means the total costs required for manufacturing the goods that were made subject to price cutting. Likewise, "purchasing costs" and "selling costs and general and administrative costs" refer to the total amount of costs required for the purchasing and for the selling and administration of the goods that were made subject to price cutting, respectively.
販売費及び一般管理費のように複数の事業に共通する費用については,これが各事業にどのように配賦されるかが問題となるところ,企業会計上は,当該費用の発生により各事業が便益を受ける程度等に応じ,各事業者が実情に即して合理的に選択した配賦基準に従って配賦されることが一般的である。複数の事業に共通する費用の配賦基準については,このほかにも様々な方法があるが,廉売行為者が実情に即して合理的に選択した配賦基準を用いていると認められる場合には,当該配賦基準に基づき各事業に費用の配賦を行った上で,総販売原価の算定を行うものとする。その上で,複数の商品に共通する費用についても,実情に即して合理的に配賦することにより,廉売対象商品の総販売原価の算定を行うものとする。
With regard to costs such as the selling costs and general and administrative costs, which are common to multiple businesses, how to allocate such costs to respective businesses becomes an issue, and generally, in corporate accounting, the entrepreneur allocates common costs to each business depending on the degree of benefit provided by the generation of the costs, pursuant to the allocation criteria that were reasonably selected by the entrepreneur in the context of the actual conditions. In such case, if the entrepreneur is deemed to use the allocation criteria that were reasonably selected in the context of the actual conditions, the total cost of sales is usually calculated by allocating the common costs based on said allocation criteria, although there are various allocation criteria. Then, by also reasonably distributing the costs that are common to multiple goods in light of the actual conditions, the total cost of sales for the price-cut goods shall be calculated.
また,研究開発費等のように一括して計上される費用については,廉売行為者が実情に即して合理的な期間において当該費用を回収することとしていると認められる場合には,当該期間にわたって費用の配賦を行った上で,廉売対象商品の総販売原価の算定を行うものとする。
As for costs such as research and development costs, which are reported collectively, if the price cutter is found to be recovering the costs over a reasonable period in light of the actual conditions, the total cost of sales for the price-cut goods shall be calculated after allocating the costs over said period.
(注3)経済合理性があるかどうかについては,概念的には,設定された価格が平均回避可能費用(廉売行為者が廉売対象商品の追加供給をやめた場合に生じなくなる廉売対象商品固有の固定費用及び可変費用を合算した費用を追加供給量で除することによって得られる廉売対象商品一単位当たりの費用をいう。)を回収することができるかどうかによって判断される。実務上は,これに相当するものとして,後記(エ)に示した考え方を用いる。
(Note 3) Whether it is economically rational is conceptually assessed based on whether a price set by the price cutter can cover the average avoidable cost (AAC), which is the average of product-specific fixed costs and variable costs that could have been avoided if the price cutter had not produced extra output. In practice, the approach shown in (D) below is applied to assess economic rationality equivalent thereto.
(エ)総販売原価を著しく下回る価格であるかどうかは,廉売対象商品を供給することによって発生する費用を下回る収入しか得られないような価格であるかどうかという観点から,事案に即して算定されることになる。この算定に当たっては,次の点に留意する。
(D) Whether or not a certain price is excessively below the total cost of sales is calculated on a case-by-case basis from the viewpoint of whether or not the price is insufficient for the entrepreneur to recover the costs incurred by supplying the price-cut goods. In this calculation, the following points should be taken into consideration:
a 供給に要する費用には,廉売対象商品を供給しなければ発生しない費用(以下「可変的性質を持つ費用」という。)とそれ以外の費用とがある。可変的性質を持つ費用でさえ回収できないような低い価格を設定すれば,廉売対象商品の供給が増大するにつれ損失が拡大する。したがって,可変的性質を持つ費用を下回る価格は,「供給に要する費用を著しく下回る対価」であると推定される(他方,可変的性質を持つ費用以上の価格は「供給に要する費用を著しく下回る対価」ではないので,その価格での供給は,法定不当廉売に該当することはない。)。
a. "The costs required for the supply" are divided into costs that would not be generated unless the price-cut goods were supplied (hereinafter referred to as "variable-featured costs") and the other costs. If an entrepreneur sets a low price that is insufficient for even recovering the variable-featured costs, losses would expand as more price-cut goods are supplied. Thus, a price that is lower than the variable-featured costs is presumed to be "a consideration which is excessively below the costs required for the supply" (however, if a price is equal to or higher than the variable-featured costs, it is not "a price which is excessively below the costs required for the supply," so the supply of goods at such a price is not regarded as statutory unjust low price sales).
b 可変的性質を持つ費用に該当する費用かどうかについては,廉売対象商品の供給量の変化に応じて増減する費用か,廉売対象商品の供給と密接な関連性を有する費用かという観点から評価する。
b. Whether or not a cost is categorized as a variable-featured cost is assessed from the viewpoint of whether the cost increases or decreases depending on the supply quantity of the price-cut goods, and/or whether the cost is closely related to the supply of the price-cut goods.
(a)変動費(操業度に応じて総額において比例的に増減する原価をいう。)は,可変的性質を持つ費用となる。また,明確に変動費であると認められなくても,費用の性格上,廉売対象商品の供給量の変化に応じてある程度増減するとみられる費用は,特段の事情(注4)がない限り,可変的性質を持つ費用と推定される。例えば,変動費としては製品の製造に直接用いられる材料費や仕入価格が挙げられ,費用の性格上廉売対象商品の供給量の変化に応じてある程度増減する費用としては運送費,検収費等の商品仕入れに付随する諸経費が挙げられる。
(a) Variable expenses (the costs that proportionally increase or decrease in total amount depending on the rate of capacity utilization) are regarded as variable-featured costs. Also, costs which are not obviously deemed to be variable costs but are found to increase or decrease to a certain extent depending on the changes in the supply quantity of the price-cut goods in light of the characteristics of the costs are presumed to be variable-featured costs unless there are special circumstances (Note 4). For example, variable expenses include the materials costs that are directly used for manufacturing goods and the purchase price, whereas costs that are found to increase or decrease to a certain extent depending on changes in the supply quantity of the price-cut goods in light of the characteristics of the costs include the costs incidental to the purchase of goods, such as shipping costs and inspection costs for acceptance.
さらに,費用の性格からそのように推定するまでは至らないものであっても,個別の事案において,廉売期間中,供給量の変化に応じて増減している費用は,原則として,可変的性質を持つ費用として取り扱われる。
Furthermore, costs which are not thus presumed to be variable-featured costs in light of the characteristics of the costs but which have shown increases or decreases depending on the supply quantity during the period of the price cutting in an individual case are treated as variable-featured costs, in principle.
(注4)継続的な廉売ではあるものの,廉売期間が比較的短く,期間中の廉売対象商品の供給によってはその費用が増減し得ないといった事情は,特段の事情に該当する事由である。
(Note 4) If price cutting is carried out continuously, but the period of the price cutting is relatively short and the costs would not increase or decrease by the supply of the price-cut goods during that period, such circumstance is regarded as a special circumstance.
(b)企業会計上の各種費用項目のうち,廉売対象商品の供給と密接な関連性を有する費用項目は,以下に示すように,可変的性質を持つ費用となる又は推定される場合がある。
(b) Among the expense items in corporate accounting, those that have a close relevance to the supply of the price-cut goods may be regarded or presumed to be regarded as variable-featured costs, as shown below.
(i)製造原価
(i) Production costs
製造原価は製造業者が廉売を行うことにより販売した当該製品の「売上原価」を構成する重要な一要素である。製造原価は,製造業者が,ある製品について廉売を行った場合に,当該製品の供給と密接な関連性を有するものとして算定される費用項目であり,その性格上,特段の事情(注5)がない限り,可変的性質を持つ費用と推定される。製造原価のうち製造直接費(直接材料費,直接労務費及び直接経費)は,可変的性質を持つ費用となる。
Production costs are an important factor that constitutes the "cost of sales" of the goods that a manufacturer sells by price cutting. When a manufacturer engages in price cutting, production costs become an expense item that is calculated as costs that have a close relevance to the supply of the price-cut goods, and, in light of their characteristics, they are presumed to be variable-featured costs unless there are special circumstances (Note 5). Among the production costs, direct production costs (the direct materials costs, direct labor costs, and direct expenses) are regarded as variable-featured costs.
(注5)特段の事情に該当する事由としては,製造原価の中に,明らかに当該製品の供給と関連性のない費用項目があるといった事情(例えば,当該製品を製造する工場敷地内にある福利厚生施設(テニスコート,プール等)の減価償却費が製造原価に含まれている場合)が挙げられる。
(Note 5) An example of a special circumstance is where the production costs include any expense item that obviously has no relevance to the supply of the price-cut goods (e.g., a case where depreciation costs for welfare facilities (tennis courts, a swimming pool, etc.) within the precincts of the factory manufacturing said goods are included in the production costs).
(ii)仕入原価
(ii) Purchasing costs
仕入原価とは,仕入価格(注6)と,運送費,検収費等の仕入れに付随する諸経費との合計額である。仕入原価は,販売業者が,ある製品について廉売を行った場合に,当該製品の供給と密接な関連性を有するものとして算定される費用項目であり,その性格上,特段の事情がない限り,可変的性質を持つ費用と推定される。仕入原価のうち仕入価格は,可変的性質を持つ費用となる。
Purchasing costs are the combined total of the purchase price (Note 6) and the costs incidental to the purchase, such as shipping costs and inspection costs for acceptance. When a seller engages in price cutting, purchasing costs become an expense item that is calculated as costs that have a close relevance to the supply of the price-cut goods, and, in light of their characteristics, they are presumed to be variable-featured costs unless there are special circumstances. Among the purchasing costs, the purchase price is regarded as a variable-featured cost.
(注6)ここでの「仕入価格」とは,名目上の仕入価格ではなく,実際の取引において当該製品に関して値引き,リベート,現品添付等が行われている場合には,これらを考慮に入れた実質的な仕入価格をいう。
(Note 6) The term "purchase price" here does not mean the nominal purchase price of the goods; rather, it means the substantial purchase price which takes into account any discounts, rebates, or physical goods received by the purchaser in connection with said purchase.
(iii)営業費
(iii) Operating costs
営業費は,販売費及び一般管理費から構成されるところ,これに含まれる費用項目のうち,廉売対象商品の注文の履行に要する費用である倉庫費,運送費及び掛売販売集金費は,事業者が,ある商品について廉売を行った場合に,廉売対象商品の供給と密接な関連性を有するものとして算定される費用項目であり,その性格上,可変的性質を持つ費用となる。
Operating costs consist of selling costs and general and administrative costs. When an entrepreneur engages in price cutting, among the cost items included in the operating costs, warehouse costs, shipping costs, and costs for collecting open accounts receivable, which are costs required for the execution of orders of the price-cut goods, become expense items that are calculated as costs that have a close relevance to the supply of the price-cut goods, and, in light of their characteristics, they are regarded as variable-featured costs.
(c)廉売対象商品の供給量の変化に応じて増減する費用か,廉売対象商品の供給と密接な関連性を有する費用かという観点から,費用の性格上,特段の事情がない限り可変的性質を持つ費用には該当しないと推定される費用(注7)又は可変的性質を持つ費用とはならない費用(注8)がある。
(c) From the viewpoint of whether certain costs are those that increase or decrease depending on changes in the supply quantity of the price-cut goods or those that have a close relevance to the supply of the price-cut goods, there are costs that are, in light of their characteristics, presumed not to be variable-featured costs unless there are special circumstances (Note 7) or are never regarded as variable-featured costs (Note 8).
(注7)廉売対象商品の注文の獲得に要する費用(例えば,広告費,市場調査費,接待費)は,特段の事情がない限り,可変的性質を持つ費用には該当しないと推定される。特段の事情に該当する事由としては,廉売対象商品の供給を開始又は継続するために不可避的に発生した費用であるといった事情が挙げられる。
(Note 7) The costs required for acquiring orders for the price-cut goods (such as advertising costs, market research costs, and entertainment costs) are presumed not to be variable-featured costs, unless there are special circumstances. Special circumstances include, for example, costs that were inevitably incurred for commencing or continuing the supply of the price-cut goods.
例えば,廉売対象商品の需要創出のために発売開始前に集中的に支出した宣伝広告費については,その費用の支出なくして廉売対象商品の供給自体が行われなかったと認められる場合があり得る。このような廉売対象商品の供給を開始又は継続するために不可避的に発生した費用であるといった事情があれば,当該費用は,廉売対象商品の供給と密接な関連性を有する費用であり,廉売対象商品を供給しなければ発生しなかったものとして,可変的性質を持つ費用とされる。
For example, with regard to advertising costs intensively spent before starting the sale of the price-cut goods in order to create demand for the goods, there may be cases where the supply of the price-cut goods would not have been launched right from the start without spending such costs. If there is such a circumstance as the costs being inevitably incurred for commencing or continuing the supply of the price-cut goods, such costs are regarded as costs that have a close relevance to the supply of the price-cut goods and are deemed to be variable-featured costs, being costs that would not have been generated unless the price-cut goods were supplied.
(注8)本社組織である人事部や経理部における人件費,交通費及び通信費は,費用の性格上,廉売対象商品の供給量の変化に応じて増減する費用ではなく,廉売対象商品の供給と密接な関連性を有する費用でもないので,可変的性質を持つ費用とはならない。
(Note 8) The personnel costs, transportation costs, and communications costs of the personnel department and the accounting department, which are headquarter functions, are, in light of the characteristics of the costs, neither costs that increase or decrease to a certain extent depending on changes in the supply quantity of the price-cut goods, nor those that have a close relevance to the supply of the price-cut goods, so they are never regarded as variable-featured costs.
イ 継続性
B. Continuity
前記2のとおり,不当廉売に該当するためには,廉売が廉売行為者自らと同等に効率的な事業者の事業の継続等に係る判断に影響を与え得るものである必要がある。したがって,不当廉売となるのは,一般的には,廉売がある程度「継続して」行われる場合である。このため,独占禁止法第2条第9項第3号の規定は,「供給に要する費用を著しく下回る対価で継続して供給すること」と規定している。
As mentioned in 2. above, in order for price cutting to be regarded as unjust low price sales, it needs to negatively affect the decision regarding the continuation of business, etc. of entrepreneurs that are just as efficient as the price cutter. Therefore, unjust low price sales are generally established when an entrepreneur engages in price cutting "continuously" to some extent. Accordingly, the provisions of Article 2, paragraph (9), item (iii) of the Antimonopoly Act read "supplying goods or services continuously for a consideration which is excessively below the costs required for the supply."
「継続して」とは,相当期間にわたって繰り返して廉売を行い,又は廉売を行っている事業者の営業方針等から客観的にそれが予測されることであるが,毎日継続して行われることを必ずしも要しない。例えば,毎週末等の日を定めて行う廉売であっても,需要者の購買状況によっては継続して供給しているとみることができる場合がある。
The term "continuously" either means that an entrepreneur engages in price cutting repeatedly over a considerable period of time, or that an entrepreneur's engagement in price cutting for such duration is objectively predicted judging from said entrepreneur's sales policy, etc., and does not necessarily require price cutting to be carried out every day in a continuous manner. For example, even when price cutting is carried out only on specific dates, such as every weekend, there are cases where the entrepreneur can be regarded as supplying the price-cut goods continuously, depending on the purchasing behavior of consumers.
(2)「他の事業者の事業活動を困難にさせるおそれ」
(2) "Likely to cause difficulties to the business activities of other entrepreneurs"
ア 「他の事業者の事業活動を困難にさせるおそれがある」にいうところの「他の事業者」とは,通常の場合,廉売対象商品について当該廉売を行っている者と競争関係にある者を指すが,廉売の態様によっては,競争関係にない者が含まれる場合もあり得る。例えば,卸売・小売業者による廉売によって製造業者等の競争関係に影響が及ぶ場合であれば,「他の事業者」に,廉売対象商品と同種の商品を供給する製造業者等が含まれる場合もある。
A. The term "other entrepreneurs" as used in the phrase "likely to cause difficulties to the business activities of other entrepreneurs" generally refers to competitors of the price cutter, but could also include non-competitors, depending on the mode of the price cutting. For example, in a case where price cutting by a wholesaler or a retailer negatively affects competition among manufacturers, etc., "other entrepreneurs" can in some cases include the manufacturers, etc. that supply the same kind of goods as the price-cut goods.
イ 「事業活動を困難にさせるおそれがある」とは,現に事業活動が困難になることは必要なく,諸般の状況からそのような結果が招来される具体的な可能性が認められる場合(注9)を含む趣旨である。このような可能性の有無は,他の事業者の実際の状況のほか,廉売行為者の事業の規模及び態様,廉売対象商品の数量,廉売期間,広告宣伝の状況,廉売対象商品の特性,廉売行為者の意図・目的等を総合的に考慮して,個別具体的に判断される。
B. The phrase " likely to cause difficulties to the business activities of other entrepreneurs" does not necessarily require that price cutting makes business activities difficult in actuality, but it includes cases where a concrete possibility of the price cutting causing such result is found based on various circumstances (Note 9). The presence or absence of such possibility is determined on a case-by-case basis, by comprehensively taking into consideration the actual status of other entrepreneurs as well as the size and type of business of the price cutter, the quantity of the price-cut goods, the duration of the price cutting, the status of advertising and publicity associated with the price-cut goods, the characteristics of the price-cut goods, and the price cutter's intention or purpose of price cutting.
(注9)例えば,有力な事業者が,他の事業者を排除する意図の下に,可変的性質を持つ費用を下回る価格で廉売を行い,その結果,急激に販売数量が増加し,当該市場において販売数量で首位に至るような場合には,個々の事業者の事業活動が現に困難になっているとまでは認められなくとも,「事業活動を困難にさせるおそれがある」に該当する。
(Note 9) For example, when an influential entrepreneur engages in price cutting, supplying goods at a price that is lower than the variable-featured costs, with the intention to exclude other entrepreneurs from the relevant market, and as a result, its sales quantity increases rapidly, making the price cutter the top seller in said market, such price cutting is regarded as being "tending to cause difficulties to the business activities of other entrepreneurs" even if the business activities of the other entrepreneurs are not found to be facing difficulty in actuality.
(3)正当な理由
(3) Justifiable grounds
前記(1)及び(2)の要件に当たるものであっても,廉売を正当化する特段の事情があれば,公正な競争を阻害するおそれがあるものとはいえず,不当廉売とはならない。例えば,需給関係から廉売対象商品の販売価格が低落している場合,廉売対象商品の原材料の再調達価格が取得原価より低くなっている場合において,商品や原材料の市況に対応して低い価格を設定したとき,商品の価格を決定した後に原材料を調達する取引において,想定しがたい原材料価格の高騰により結果として供給に要する費用を著しく下回ることとなったときは,「正当な理由」があるものと考えられる(注10)。
Even when the requirements set forth in (1) and (2) above are satisfied, if there are special circumstances that justify the price cutting, said price cutting is not regarded as impeding fair competition; thus it does not constitute unjust low price sales. For example, in cases where the market price of the price-cut goods declines due to a supply-and-demand imbalance or the replacement cost of the raw materials for the price-cut goods becomes lower than the acquisition cost of said raw materials, it is considered a case which has "justifiable grounds" for setting a low price according to the market conditions of the goods or the raw materials, or in the case where the price of the raw materials soars unexpectedly in a transaction for procuring the raw materials after the price of the goods is decided, and as a result, the price of the price-cut goods becomes excessively below the costs required for the supply, "justifiable grounds" are considered to exist (Note 10).
(注10)生鮮食料品のようにその品質が急速に低下するおそれがあるものや季節商品のようにその販売の最盛期を過ぎたものについて,見切り販売をする必要がある場合は,可変的性質を持つ費用を下回るような低い価格を設定することに「正当な理由」があるものと考えられる。きず物,はんぱ物その他の瑕疵(かし)のある商品について相応の低い価格を設定する場合も同様に考えられる。
(Note 10) If there is a need to make clearance sales of products such as perishable goods whose quality is likely to deteriorate rapidly or seasonal goods whose peak sales periods are over, "justifiable grounds" are considered to exist for setting a price lower than the variable-featured costs. The same applies when setting a reasonably low price for any damaged item, odd item, or otherwise defective item.
4 不公正な取引方法第6項の規定
4. Provisions of paragraph (6) of the Designation of Unfair Trade Practices
(1)不公正な取引方法第6項の規定は,次のとおりである。
(1) The provisions of paragraph (6) of the Designation of Unfair Trade Practices read as follows:
(不当廉売)
(Unjust Low Price Sales)
6 法第2条第9項第3号に該当する行為のほか,不当に商品又は役務を低い対価で供給し,他の事業者の事業活動を困難にさせるおそれがあること。
(6) In addition to any act that falls under Article 2, paragraph (9), item (iii) of the Act, unjustly supplying goods or services for a low consideration, thereby being likely to cause difficulties to the business activities of other entrepreneurs.
法定不当廉売の要件である価格・費用基準及び継続性のいずれか又は両方を満たさない場合,すなわち,廉売行為者が可変的性質を持つ費用以上の価格(総販売原価を下回ることが前提)で供給する場合や,可変的性質を持つ費用を下回る価格で単発的に供給する場合であっても,廉売対象商品の特性,廉売行為者の意図・目的,廉売の効果,市場全体の状況等からみて,公正な競争秩序に悪影響を与えるときは,不公正な取引方法第6項の規定に該当し,不当廉売として規制される。
Even in cases where price cutting does not satisfy either or both of the price/cost relationships and continuity, which are requirements for unjust low price sales, in other words, even when a price cutter supplies goods at a price equal to or higher than the variable-featured costs (but the price must be lower than the total cost of sales) or supplies goods at a price lower than the variable-featured costs one time only, said price cutting falls under the provisions of paragraph (6) of the Designation of Unfair Trade Practices and is regulated as being unjust low price sales, if the price cutting harms the fair competition order judging from the characteristics of the price-cut goods, the intension or purpose of the price cutter, the effects of the price cutting, the status of the entire market, and other factors.
(2)「他の事業者の事業活動を困難にさせるおそれ」の有無については,前記3(2)イに掲げる事項を総合的に考慮して,個別事案ごとに判断することとなるが,例えば,市場シェアの高い事業者が,継続して,かつ,大量に廉売する場合,又はこのような事業者が,他の事業者にとって経営上重要な商品を集中的に廉売する場合は,一般的には,他の事業者の事業活動に影響を与えると考えられるので,可変的性質を持つ費用以上の価格での供給であっても,不公正な取引方法第6項の規定に該当する場合がある。この場合には,廉売対象商品の供給と関連のある費用(製造原価又は仕入原価及び販売費)を下回っているかどうかを考慮する。
(2) Whether or not price cutting is "likely to cause difficulties to the business activities of other entrepreneurs" is determined on a case-by-case basis, by comprehensively taking into consideration the matters listed in 3 (2) B. above. However, when an entrepreneur commanding a large market share carries out price cutting of a large quantity of goods continuously or when such entrepreneur intensively carries out price cutting of goods that are important for the management of other entrepreneurs, such price cutting is generally considered to negatively affect the business activities of other entrepreneurs, so even if the goods were supplied at a price equal to or higher than the variable-featured costs, such price cutting may fall under the provisions of paragraph (6) of the Designation of Unfair Trade Practices. In making a judgment on such case, consideration shall be given to whether the price is lower than the costs that have relevance to the supply of the price-cut goods (the production costs or purchasing costs, and selling costs).
5 廉売問題に関連するその他の規制
5. Other regulations related to the price cutting issue
廉売問題に関連する独占禁止法上の規制のうち,主要なものを挙げると次のとおりである。
The Antimonopoly Act has various provisions which deal with the price cutting issue, of which the main ones are described below.
(1)差別対価,取引条件等の差別取扱い
(1) Discriminatory Consideration, and Discriminatory Treatment on Trade Terms, etc.
ア 独占禁止法が禁止する差別対価等
A. Discriminatory Consideration, etc. prohibited by the Antimonopoly Act
差別対価については,独占禁止法第2条第9項第2号において「不当に,地域又は相手方により差別的な対価をもつて,商品又は役務を継続して供給することであつて,他の事業者の事業活動を困難にさせるおそれがあるもの」と(注11),不公正な取引方法第3項において「私的独占の禁止及び公正取引の確保に関する法律第2条第9項第2号に該当する行為のほか,不当に,地域又は相手方により差別的な対価をもつて,商品若しくは役務を供給し,又はこれらの供給を受けること。」と規定されている。独占禁止法第2条第9項第2号は,商品を供給するケースに限られ,供給を受ける行為は含まれていないことに留意する必要がある。
With regard to Discriminatory Consideration, Article 2, paragraph(9), item (ii) of the Antimonopoly Act provides, "Unjustly supplying goods or services continuously for a consideration which discriminates between regions or between parties, thereby being likely to cause difficulties to the business activities of other entrepreneurs" (Note 11), and paragraph (3) of the Designation of Unfair Trade Practices provides, "in addition to any act falling under the provisions of Article 2, paragraph (9), item (ii) of Act on Prohibition of Private Monopolization and Maintenance of Fair Trade, unjustly supplying or accepting goods or services for a consideration which discriminates between regions or between parties." It should be noted that Article 2, paragraph (9), item (ii) of the Antimonopoly Act applies only to an act for supplying goods, and not to an act for accepting goods.
また,取引条件等の差別取扱いについては,不公正な取引方法第4項において,「不当に,ある事業者に対し取引の条件又は実施について有利又は不利な取扱いをすること。」と規定されている。
With regard to Discriminatory Treatment of Trade Terms, etc., paragraph (4) of the Designation of Unfair Trade Practices provides, "unjustly affording favorable or unfavorable treatment to a certain entrepreneur in regard to the terms or execution of a trade."
(注11)独占禁止法第2条第9項第2号に規定する差別対価を行った事業者が,過去10年以内に同号に規定する差別対価を行ったとして行政処分を受けたことがあるなど一定の条件を満たす場合には,課徴金の納付が命じられる。
(Note 11) Any entrepreneur who engages in the Discriminatory Consideration prescribed in Article 2 (9) (2) of the Antimonopoly Act and who satisfies certain requirements, such as having received an administrative disposition for engaging in the Discriminatory Consideration prescribed in said item within the past ten years, shall be ordered to pay a surcharge.
独占禁止法第2条第9項第2号に規定する差別対価に該当する行為に対しては,同号の規定だけを適用すれば足りるので,当該行為に不公正な取引方法第3項の規定が適用されることはない。
Since any act that is categorized as the Discriminatory Consideration prescribed in Article 2 (9) (2) of the Antimonopoly Act can be sufficiently dealt with by applying only the provisions of said item, the provisions of paragraph (3) of the Designation of Unfair Trade Practices are never applied to such act.
イ 差別対価等の規制の基本的な考え方
B. Basic viewpoint of regulations on the Discriminatory Consideration, etc.
(ア)経済活動において,取引数量の多寡,決済条件,配送条件等の相違を反映して取引価格に差が設けられることは,広く一般にみられることである。また,地域による需給関係の相違を反映して取引価格に差異が設けられることも通常である。
(A) In economic activities, the practice of setting different transaction prices according to the transaction quantity, terms of settlement, shipping conditions, or other factors is widely observed. It is also a general practice to set different transaction prices according to differences in the supply-and-demand balance between regions.
このような観点からすれば,取引価格や取引条件に差異が設けられても,それが取引数量の相違等正当なコスト差に基づくものである場合や,商品の需給関係を反映したものである場合等においては,本質的に公正な競争を阻害するおそれがあるとはいえないものと考えられる。
In light of such perspective, even when different transaction prices or transaction terms are set, it is not considered, by nature, to impede fair competition if the difference is based on a fair difference in costs, such as the difference in the transaction quantity, or reflects the supply-and-demand balance of the goods.
しかし,例えば,有力な事業者が,競争者を排除するため,当該競争者と競合する販売地域又は顧客に限って廉売を行い,公正な競争秩序に悪影響を与える場合は,独占禁止法上問題となる。
However, when an influential entrepreneur, in order to eliminate a particular competitor, engages in price cutting only for sales territories or customers over which said entrepreneur is in competition with said competitor, and by doing so harms the fair competition order, such act gives rise to problems concerning the Antimonopoly Act.
また,有力な事業者が同一の商品について,取引価格やその他の取引条件等について,合理的な理由なく差別的な取扱いをし,差別を受ける相手方の競争機能に直接かつ重大な影響を及ぼすことにより公正な競争秩序に悪影響を与える場合にも,独占禁止法上問題となる。
In addition, when an influential entrepreneur deals with a certain goods in a discriminatory manner with regard to the transaction price or any other transaction terms, without reasonable grounds, and exerts a direct and serious negative affect on the competitive function of the discriminated party, thereby impeding the fair competition order, such act also gives rise to problems concerning the Antimonopoly Act.
(イ)個々の行為がどのような場合に独占禁止法上の差別対価等に該当するかは,個別具体的な事案において,行為者の意図・目的,取引価格・取引条件の格差の程度,供給に要する費用と価格との関係,行為者及び競争者の市場における地位,取引の相手方の状況,商品の特性,取引形態等を総合的に勘案し,市場における競争秩序に与える影響を勘案した上で判断されるものである。
(B) Whether or not an individual act is regarded as Discriminatory Consideration or similar offence under the Antimonopoly Act is determined on a case-by-case basis, by comprehensively taking into consideration the intention of the person who committed the act or the purpose of the act, the extent of difference in the transaction price or transaction terms, the relationship between "the costs required for the supply" and the price, the statuses of the person who committed the act and its competitors in the market, the situation of the other party of the transaction, the characteristics of the goods, and the mode of transaction, as well as considering the harmful effect of the act on the competition order in the market.
(2)優越的地位の濫用行為
(2) Abuse of Dominant Bargaining Position
自己の取引上の地位が相手方に優越している事業者が,その地位を利用して,取引の相手方に対し,自己に対する低価格での納入や自己の決算対策のための協賛金の支払いを強要すること等は,独占禁止法第2条第9項第5号(優越的地位の濫用)に該当するおそれがある。
When an entrepreneur who has a dominant bargaining position over the other party of a transaction makes use of such position to force the other party to supply goods to said entrepreneur at a low price or to defray monetary contributions for improving the said entrepreneur's settlement of accounts, such act may fall under the provisions of Article 2 (9) (v) (Abuse of Dominant Bargaining Position) of the Antimonopoly Act.
公正取引委員会は,「流通・取引慣行に関する独占禁止法上の指針」(平成3年7月11日公正取引委員会事務局),「役務の委託取引における優越的地位の濫用に関する独占禁止法上の指針」(平成10年3月17日公正取引委員会),「大規模小売業者による納入業者との取引における特定の不公正な取引方法」の運用基準(平成17年事務総長通達第9号),「優越的地位の濫用に関する独占禁止法上の考え方」(平成22年11月30日公正取引委員会)で明らかにした考え方等を踏まえ,厳正に対処する(注12)。
The Fair Trade Commission will strictly deal with the Abuse based on the concepts clarified in the Guidelines Concerning Distribution Systems and Business Practices under the Antimonopoly Act (July 11, 1991; General Secretariat, Fair Trade Commission), the Guidelines Concerning Abuse of Dominant Bargaining Position in Service Transactions under the Antimonopoly Act (March 17, 1998; Fair Trade Commission), the Guidelines Concerning Designation of Specific Unfair Trade Practices by Large-Scale Retailers Relating to Trade with Suppliers (June 29, 2005; Secretary General Notice No. 9), and Guidelines Concerning Abuse of Superior Bargaining Position under the Antimonopoly Act(November 30, 2010; Fair Trade Commission) (Note 12).
(注12)独占禁止法第2条第9項第5号に規定される優越的地位の濫用を行った事業者に対しては,当該行為が継続してするものであるなど一定の条件を満たす場合には,課徴金の納付が命じられる。
(Note 12) Any entrepreneur who engages in the Abuse of the Dominant Bargaining Position prescribed in Article 2 (9) (v) of the Antimonopoly Act and who satisfies certain requirements, including conducting such act continuously, shall be ordered to pay a surcharge.