TOKYO Kyodo Tokyo prosecutors and the country's fair trade watchdog on Friday searched the head office of ad giant Dentsu Inc. and the home of a senior official at the Tokyo Olympics organizing committee over alleged bid rigging for the rights to organize test events for the 2020 games.
In the latest development in a series of scandals surrounding the massive sports event, held in 2021 amid the coronaviruses, searches were conducted on suspicion of unfair restraint of trade. They also covered Tokyo-based event production company Cerespo Co.
Rigging is suspected of having the rights to arrange the 26 test events, which were awarded to Dentsu and eight other companies as well as a consortium.
The amount of contracts totaled more than 500 million yen $3.6 million, with the price of each ranging from 4 million yen to 60 million yen, according to sources familiar with the matter.
The searches came after another Japanese advertising agency, ADK Holdings Inc., reported to the Japan Fair Trade Commission that it had participated in bid rigging.
A former games organizing committee executive received bribes from five companies, including ADK, when the prosecutors launched an investigation into the case.
ADK hopes for leniency in the form of a reduction in fines by reporting the alleged violation of the antitrust law and offering to cooperate with the Japan Fair Trade Commission.