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I've heard this story from several foreigners in Japan:

I hired Japanese Company A for a service. I didn't like Japanese Company A, so I went to Japanese Company B in the same industry and tried to hire them instead. Japanese Company B refused to do business with me because I was already a client of Japanese Company A.

  1. What is the name for this practice in Japanese? Is it called 企業連合?
  2. Is this legal in Japan? Is there some kind of law which prohibits this practice? What is the law called? Is it called 独占禁止法?


To be clear, this is a question about Japanese vocabulary. If I can get an answer about the vocabulary, then I can research the law. If anyone has any links to articles on this subject, that would be very helpful.

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There's also [財閥]{ざいばつ} which should be considered as well. –  virmaior Apr 1 at 15:44
@Tim I think the question is asking about finding a term in Japanese by a description in English (not about translating 企業連合 or 独占禁止法 into English). I don't understand your comment, unless you say that 企業連合 are 独占禁止法 indeed the concepts the OP is asking about in parts (1) and (2), resp., in which case it should be an answer. –  Earthliŋ Apr 1 at 17:19
@Earthliŋ: Perhaps I am wrong but I read this as a question about Japanese law not Japanese language, and therefore off topic. But rather than just vote to close, I thought I would try give the most helpful comment I could. –  Tim Apr 1 at 22:16
@Tim: It's extremely obvious he's asking about both. The correct way to handle it is to answer the on-topic part and inform him that the rest is off-topic. Not just to trash the entire question as off-topic. –  hippietrail Apr 3 at 10:05
@hippietrail: Much obliged! –  Tim Apr 3 at 15:22

1 Answer 1

I don't have any specialist knowledge on this but over and above telling you that

企業連合 is a cartel,  

独占禁止法 is the anti-monopolies law

I can suggest how I studied a business topic recently:

There must be lots of articles on the web in English on your chosen topic so that should give you the background but I should also expect there are pamphlets put out by the government and business agencies (eg METI, MOJ, Keidanren, FSA) available on their websites. There is probably at least one comprehensive document available in English and Japanese. The English will give you the "official" Japanese translations, the Japanese version will give you the terminology/vocabulary your looking for.

There is also an EJ/JE dictionary of Legal terms:


And, if you want the laws themselves, the MOJ have a web site which provides translations of many: http://www.japaneselawtranslation.go.jp/?re=02

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+1 Thanks, Tim, that's very helpful. However, I have a feeling there must be a more precise, idiomatic term in Japanese for this kind of behavior, so I'm going to wait and see if I can get a better answer. –  James Brock Apr 4 at 6:04
The other word that occurs to me is 談合 but if I was you I would look for pamphlet put out in both languages. When you talk to Japanese people you both know what you are talking about. (Actually when I first read your question I was reminded of practice I heard about in HK where Swires group companies compete with Jardine Matheson. If you are looking to hire say a conference room then the Swires people will be less helpful if they know you often use JM companies (and vice versa)). –  Tim Apr 4 at 7:04

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