Dentsu Group President Admits Ad Giant Bears Responsibility for Bid Rigging

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Dentsu headquarters in Minato Ward, Tokyo

Dentsu Group Inc. President Hiroshi Igarashi acknowledged the advertising giant was involved in alleged bid rigging related to the Tokyo Games during voluntary questioning Friday with the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office, according to sources.

The prosecutors office is poised to indict six companies, including Dentsu Inc., and Yasuo Mori, 56, former deputy executive director of the Tokyo Games organizing committee’s Operations Bureau, for violation of the Antimonopoly Law.

The indictment will be filed once the prosecutors office receives a criminal complaint from the Fair Trade Commission, which could be as early as Tuesday.

On Feb. 8, the office’s special investigation squad arrested Mori; Koji Henmi, 55, former assistant director of the Sports Bureau at Dentsu; and executives from event company Cerespo Co. and TV production company Fuji Creative Corp. on suspicion of involvement in bid rigging for the operation of Games-related events.

In addition to Dentsu, Cerespo and Fuji Creative, investigators believe Hakuhodo Inc., ADK Holdings Inc., Tokyu Agency Inc., and Same Two Inc. were also involved in the bid rigging.

Igarashi admitted in questioning on Friday that Dentsu employees were involved in collusion to receive contracts and that Dentsu Group bore responsibility.