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Japanese anti-trust officials raided Amazon Japan headquarters in Tokyo.

Amazon Japan probe tests antitrust doctrine in new era

E-commerce giant accused of abusing its power over vendors

YO TANAKA, Nikkei senior staff writer | Japan

TOKYO -- Antitrust investigators raided Amazon Japan's offices Thursday over suspicions that the online retailer is muscling suppliers into subsidizing discounts on its platform, but determining whether the new-economy heavyweight truly engaged in unfair practices may not be so simple.

Beginning around last year, Amazon Japan has been asking vendors for "cooperation payments" to defray a portion of discounts on items sold through the portal, according to sources close to the matter. The proportion of the fees to the discounted amount ranges from a few percent to well into the double-digit range.

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