TOKYO: Several officials at Japanese advertising agency Dentsu Inc. have admitted to collusion over bid-rigging for contracts related to test events of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics in 2021, people familiar with the matter said Monday.
The Dentsu officials have told investigators from the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office that they made a list of potential bidders for each test event venue, the people said.
The prosecutors’ office and the Fair Trade Commission are working together to investigate allegations that Dentsu officials and a former senior official at the Tokyo Games organizing committee had leading roles in the bid-rigging in violation of the antimonopoly law.
At the instruction of the former organizing committee official, Dentsu officials by spring 2018 made a list of potential bidders, based on their interest and track records, for each test venue, according to people familiar with the situation.
The list was allegedly used to determine successful bidders in competitive tenders held between May and August of 2018 for planning and planning assistance services for test events.
Nine companies, including Dentsu, another advertising agency Hakuhodo Inc. and event company Cerespo Co., and one consortium won bids for a total of some 500 million yen. They later won contracts to run the test events themselves and Tokyo Games competitions. The contracts were worth some 40 billion yen in total.
The former organizing committee official allegedly dissuaded some companies from placing bids, but the official appears to have denied bid-rigging.