Japan antitrust watchdog to warn Nissan over underpaying contractors-media

Credit: REUTERS/Issei Kato

Recasts to add comment from Nissan, details

TOKYO, March 4 (Reuters) - Nissan Motor 7201.T on Monday said it was awaiting a final report from Japan's antitrust watchdog, which local media reported had found the automaker unilaterally reduced payments to dozens of subcontracted parts manufacturers upon delivery.

The commission will demand Nissan take measures to prevent a recurrence of the underpayments, the public broadcaster NHK said on Monday.

"We're currently waiting for final results from the commission," the Japanese automaker said in a statement, declining to comment further on the investigation.

However, Nissan said that in light of the investigation "we have already refunded the full amount of the upfront payment received from the supplier". Upfront payment is a term Nissan uses to describe the money unilaterally reduced.

NHK said that the commission found that Nissan deducted a few percent from the predetermined delivery payment to parts manufacturers that make items such as tyres and wheels.

The practice might have stretched back decades, Kyodo news agency said.

About 3 billion yen ($19.98 million) worth of payment had unlawfully been deducted over several years, the report said, citing people familiar with the matter, reported NHK.

Japan's Subcontractor Law prohibits the ordering party from unilaterally reducing the payment when the subcontractor is not at fault.

($1 = 150.1500 yen)

(Reporting by Mariko Katsumura and Satoshi Sugiyama; Editing by Josie Kao and Michael Perry)


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