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Japanese Government: Talent Agencies Cannot Prohibit Former Clients From Performing Again

The Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) announced on Wednesday that it has concluded that talent agency contracts that prohibit former clients from performing for a set interval after their contracts expire are a violation of Japan’s Antitrust Act. The group decided that when talent agencies use their positions of power in this manner in contracts, it creates what the Antitrust Act refers to as “abuse of a superior position.”

Such contracts have been previously permitted in a restricted scope, however they will now be prohibited. The JFTC is informing talent agencies via industry associations.

The JFTC decided that such contracts unfairly restrict performance activities, stopping competitors amongst agencies and performers. Supporters of the change believe that reviewing contracts could enhance the treatment of performers, improve the variety of performers changing agencies, and promote production of works more attractive to followers.

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