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Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Japan ad giant Dentsu indicted over alleged Olympic bid rigging

Hakuhodo, former organizer also suspected of violating antitrust law

Dentsu Headquarters in Tokyo: Japan's largest adverting agency was indicted on Feb. 28 on suspicion rigging bids for contracts to plan and run Olympic test events and competitions.   © Kyodo

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Japanese advertising giant Dentsu Group, a former Olympic organizing committee executive and others were indicted Tuesday over alleged bid rigging in connection with the 2021 Tokyo Games.

Prosecutors took the decision after receiving complaints from the Japan Fair Trade Commission, indicting six companies, including Dentsu's rival Hakuhodo, as well as six individuals from the companies and Yasuo Mori, former operations executive on the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee.

They are suspected of violating the anti-monopoly law by rigging bids for contracts to plan and run Olympic test events and competitions.

The officials at the six companies are suspected of colluding with Mori to rig the bidding in 2018 for the rights.

The prosecutors arrested Mori and three others earlier this month in connection with the suspected bid rigging. Dentsu Group President and CEO Hiroshi Igarashi has admitted to prosecutors that the company was involved in rigging bids for The Games, sources said earlier.

The alleged bid rigging is the latest corruption scandal to emerge in relation to the global sports event, following revelations of bribery.

Haruyuki Takahashi, a former executive of the organizing committee who was previously a senior managing director at Dentsu, has been indicted four times on charges of receiving bribes totaling around 198 million yen ($1.5 million) in return for helping companies to be selected as Olympic sponsors or marketing agents.

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