March 2, 2012 / 7:58 AM / 7 years ago

Japan watchdog orders Adidas to stop price fixing

TOKYO/MUNICH (Reuters) - Adidas (ADSGn.DE) said it would step up its compliance efforts in Japan after its unit there received a warning from the Fair Trade Commission saying it unlawfully pressured retailers to stop them from offering discounts on Reebok EasyTone sneakers.

The German sporting goods company and its wholesalers stopped shipments or threatened to halt deliveries of its products to Japanese retailers who cut prices, the anti-trust watchdog said in a statement on its website on Friday.

A spokeswoman for Adidas in Germany said the group was taking the cease-and-desist order seriously.

“Compliance with the law is one of the key values for Reebok,” she said in a statement, adding Adidas would not have to pay a penalty.

The world’s second-largest sporting goods maker after Nike Inc (NKE.N) was raided by the regulator last April allegedly over its pricing tactics for the muscle-toning EasyTone sneakers, which Adidas began selling in Japan in 2009.

Adidas shares were down 0.5 percent at 59.75 euros at 0827 GMT, against a flat wider blue-chip index .GDAXI.

Reporting by James Topham, Mayumi Negishi in Tokyo and Christian Kraemer in Munich; Writing by Victoria Bryan; Editing by Ron Popeski and Helen Massy-Beresford

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