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Showbiz Watchers Welcome FTC's Move on Johnny & Associates

Showbiz Watchers Welcome FTC's Move on Johnny & Associates

   Tokyo, July 18 (Jiji Press)--Japanese show business world watchers welcomed the Fair Trade Commission's decision to chide major talent agency Johnny & Associates Inc. as a groundbreaking event for the industry where there remain contracting practices disadvantageous to entertainers.
   The antitrust watchdog investigated the agency for allegedly putting pressure on commercial television stations to prevent three of the five former members of disbanded male pop group SMAP from appearing on their programs.
   After the group's breakup in 2016, the three ended their contracts with Johnny & Associates and moved to a new agency in the following year. The other two former members continue their activities at Johnny & Associates.
   "Everyone thought it was strange that the pop stars suddenly disappeared from the TV screens," culture columnist Akio Nakamori said. "I'm sure the entertainers (at Johnny & Associates) were feeling uneasy."
   Through its investigation, the FTC was unable to detect any clear violation of the antimonopoly law by the agency. But it concluded that there were cases that could lead to a breach of the law and gave caution to the agency.

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AFP-JIJI PRESS NEWS JOURNAL


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