Kyushu University Academic Staff Educational and Research Activities Database
List of Presentations
Van Uytsel Jos Steven Last modified date:2024.06.03

Professor / Department of International Legal Studies / Faculty of Law

1. Steven Van Uytsel, Application of Superior Bargaining Position in Japan., 2024.02.
2. Steven Van Uytsel, Common Ownership in Japan: The Value of Corporate Governance Mechanisms to Tackle Competition Issues, ASLI, 2023.05.
3. Steven Van Uytsel, Competition Law in a Digital Environment, Zhejiang University, 2021.07.
4. Steven Van Uytsel, Regulating Digital Markets as a Sector, or Focus on Big Tech Companies: What is the Right Answer for ASEAN?, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, 2021.07.
5. Steven Van Uytsel, Horizontal Shareholding in Asia: A Competition Law Problem, ASLI, 2021.05.
6. Steven Van Uytsel, Algorithmic Hub-and-Spoke Cartels: A Japanese Perspective,, ASCOLA, 2021.06.
7. Steven Van Uytsel, Hub-and-Spoke Cartels Scenarios Involving Algorithms: An Inconvenient Technological Development for Several Asian Countries, Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore, 2021.09.
8. Steven Van Uytsel, Horizontal Shareholding and Competition Law: An Overview of the Issues and its Relevance for Asia, Faculty of Law, Kobe University, 2021.10.
9. Steven Van Uytsel, Autonomous Vehicles Confused: How Liability for Accidents Should Respond to Engineering Solutions for Adversarial Machine Learning, Institute of State and Law Czech Academy of Sciences, 2021.10.
10. Steven Van Uytsel , Algorithmic Collusion: The Limits of the Japanese Antimonopoly Law, ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute, 2022.03.
11. Steven Van Uytsel, Algorithmic Hub and Spoke Cartels: A Japanese Perspective, Asian Business Lawyer Symposium, 2021.02.
12. Steven Van Uytsel and Yoshiteru Uemura, Algorithmic Resale Price Maintenance: The Application of EU Competition Law against Asian and European Consumer Electronics Manufacturers, Asian Competition Forum, 2020.01.
13. Steven Van Uytsel, Algorithmic Collusion: An Overview of the Issues, Algorithms, Collusion and Competition Law Symposium, 2019.11, [URL].
14. Steven Van Uytsel, Adversarial Machine Learning and Crashing Autonomous Vehicles - Mapping the Legal Problems, Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Algorithms Symposium, 2019.11, [URL].
15. Steven Van Uytsel, Legislating Autonomous Vehicles Against the Backdrop of Adversarial Machine Learning: A Japanese Perspective, IEEE International Conference on Connected Vehicles and Expo (ICCVE), 2019.11.
16. Steven Van Uytsel, Liability for Car Accidents: How to Deal with Failing Artificial Intelligence, 2019.09.
17. Steven Van Uytsel, Artificial Intelligence and Liability, 2019.09.
18. Steven Van Uytsel , Leniency Policies, their Evaluation, and International Best Practices and Guidelines, Leniency in Asian Competition Law Symposium, 2018.10.
19. Steven Van Uytsel and Yoshiteru Uemura, Leniency in a Changes Competition Environment, Leniency in Asian Competition Law Symposium, 2018.10.
20. Steven Van Uytsel and Danilo Vargas, Confusing Autonomous Vehicles - Adversarial Attacks on the Vehicles' Algorithms , International Academy of Comparative Law, 2018.07.
21. Steven Van Uytsel and Danilo Vargas, Machine Learning: A Challenge towards the Development of Autonomous Vehicles, The Future of Autonomous Vehicles Workshop, 2019.02.
22. Steven Jos Van Uytsel, Private Enforcement of Unfair Trade Practices in Japan: Class Actions, Leniency and Efficiency, Office of the Judiciary Thailand, 2017.03.
23. Steven Jos Van Uytsel, Leniency Policies within a Broader Enforcement Context, Mae Fah Luang University, 2017.09.
24. Steven Jos Van Uytsel, The Japanese Leniency Policy: An Evaluation, Judicial Training Institute - Thailand, 2017.10.
25. Steven Jos Van Uytsel, The Proliferation of Competition Law in Asia: From Forced Adoption to an Integration Project, Asian Law Institute, 2017.05.
26. Steven Jos Van Uytsel, Entering the Era of Virtual Competition: New Challenges Ahead with Artificial Intelligence, Judicial Training Institute - Thailand, 2017.10.
27. Steven Jos Van Uytsel, Artificial Intelligence: A Brave New World for Competition Law, Mae Fah Luang University, 2017.09.
28. Steven Jos Van Uytsel, Competition Law Interference Prior to the Formation of a Digital Market: The Japan Fair Trade Commission’s Enforcement Action against DeNA, ASCOLA, 2017.06, The Japanese Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) has generally been reserved in applying its Act on Prohibition of Private Monopolization and Maintenance of Fair Trade (Antimonopoly Law or AML) to new developments in the market. It should come as no surprise that there is barely any reference to enforcement action of the JFTC in the debate on the digital economy and competition law. This is not to say that the JFTC is ignorant to the developments in the digital economy. In his New Year’s message of 2016, JFTC Chairman Kazuyuki Sugimoto recognized the change the digital economy has brought to business models and called for careful consideration on how competition policy should be shaped towards these business models. Any direction of how the policy should look like is not given in the message. The JFTC has also commissioned a study on data and competition policy. By limiting the scope of the study, it goes without saying that the recommendations made and conclusions drawn are not easily transferable to the whole digital economy.
The digital economy has further been studied by the Cross-sectional System Study Group for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Study Group). This Study Group has been working under the auspices of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI). The JFTC has participated as an observer. Despite the generally descriptive nature of the report, the Study Group has made an interesting normative claim regarding the intervention of competition law in the digital economy. Without making any reference to a specific case, the Study Group has opined that “[i]n order to maintain a fair competitive environment in the ever-changing digital market, it is important to not only correct the wrongs of business operators who conflict with the Act [the Antimonopoly Law] but also provide an environment where potential rivals to existing business operators can grow before the market is exposed to an unfair competition.”
This normative claim seems to collide with an administrative order by the JFTC. In 2011, the JFTC issued a cease and desist order against DeNA Co., Ltd. (DeNA). This Chapter will argue that the intervention of the JFTC in this case was in a market still in full expansion. The main argument for this statement is that the intervention wasbe done in a severely contestable market. In secondary order, the Chapter will indicate that such an intervention has been made possible due to the conceptualization of Japan’s competition law. Japan has a dual structure to declare conduct unlawful. Unreasonable restraints of trade (horizontal agreements) and private monopolization (unilateral exclusionary conduct) is dealt with in Article 3 of the AML. Article 19 AML, prohibiting unfair trade practices, and is focused on the lawfulness of vertical agreements and unilateral exclusionary conduct. The difference between these two articles is that the latter applies only to conduct that intends to impede competition. In secondary order, the Chapter argues that if proactive competition law enforcement, as suggested by the Study Group, is the choice of the Japanese legislator, the scholarly calls for abolishing Article 19 AML has to be disregarded..
29. Steven Jos Van Uytsel, Intangible Cultural Heritage Legislation in the Greater Mekong Area, Workshop (2nd) on the Study of Legal Systems Related to Intangible Cultural Heritage in the Greater Mekong Regio, 2015.12.
30. Steven Jos Van Uytsel, De Conventie voor de Promotie en Bescherming van de Diversiteit van Cultuuruitingen in het licht van de Conventie voor de Borging van Immaterieel Erfgoed, De UNESCO 2005 Conventie voor de Bescherming en de Promotie van de Diversiteit van Cultuuruitingen. Terugblik / Vooruitblik / Perspectieven vanuit Vlaanderen. Een kennismaking met de Conventie, 2015.12, Het is tien jaar geleden dat UNESCO haar werk beëindigde aan een internationaal bindend instrument in
verband met de diversiteit van cultuuruitingen (of culturele expressies). De Conventie voor de
bescherming en promotie van de diversiteit van cultuuruitingen (hierna de 2005 Conventie) is er
gekomen twee jaar nadat UNESCO de Conventie voor de borging van immaterieel erfgoed had
aangenomen (hierna de 2003 Conventie). Beide conventies hebben gemeen dat ze aan culturele
diversiteit worden gelinkt.
De aanzet tot de 2005 Conventie, zo kunnen we afleiden uit de Resolutie 32C34 van de Algemene
Vergadering van UNESCO, was het garanderen in een internationaal bindend instrument van culturele
diversiteit en met name van de diversiteit van culturele inhoud en artistieke uitdrukkingen (later,
omwille van de eenvoud, werd dit veranderd in cultuuruitingen). Door het beperken van de
‘beschermingsopdracht’ tot culturele uitdrukkingen, heeft men voorkomen dat de Conventie zich zou
bezighouden met culturele diversiteit in het algemeen (alle vormen van erfgoed, mensenrechten,
culturele ontwikkeling, auteursrecht, etc.). Culturele diversiteit is ook vaak aangehaald in de context
van de 2003 Conventie.
De tweede overweging van de preambule van de 2003 Conventie stelt dat immaterieel cultureel erfgoed
belangrijk is als een drijfkracht van culturele diversiteit. De 2003 Conventie is niet de enige plaats waar
men een statement kan vinden over het belang van immaterieel cultureel erfgoed voor culturele
diversiteit. In verschillende UNESCO documenten staat te lezen dat “cultural diversity, as revealed
through the intangible heritage”, “intangible cultural heritage as a mirror of cultural diversity” of
“intangible cultural heritage (…) concretely embod[ying] cultural diversity.”
Niettegenstaande de link van beide conventies met culturele diversiteit, merkt Janet Blake op dat de
relatie tussen de 2005 Conventie en de 2003 Conventie verre van duidelijk is. Ze roept de organen van
beide conventies zelfs op om klaarheid te scheppen over hoe beide conventies zich tot elkaar kunnen
verhouden. Zonder de bedoeling te hebben volledige klaarheid te brengen in de relatie tussen beide
conventies, zou ik met deze lezing enkele ideeën naar voor willen brengen over hoe de verhoudingen
tussen beide conventies op juridisch technisch vlak kan benaderd worden.
Om die verhouding toe te lichten zullen we eerst stilstaan bij de achtergrond van de twee conventies.
Daarna is het van belang om aan te tonen dat beide conventies een gemeenschappelijk onderwerp en
doel hebben. Is dit niet aanwezig, dan zal de interactie tussen beide conventies gelimiteerd zijn tot
interpretatie van concepten die beide conventies gemeen hebben. Indien het onderwerp en doel
gemeenschappelijk is, kan er ook een interactie zijn operationeel vlak. Na te hebben vastgesteld dat
beide conventies een gemeenschappelijk onderwerp en doel hebben, zullen we de juridische
kwalificatie bekijken van beide conventies. Dit is van belang om te zien of beide conventies in conflict
kunnen komen met elkaar. Na deze vaststellingen, zullen we overgaan tot het bekijken van de
mogelijke interactie tussen beide conventies op operationeel vlak en op het gebied van interpretatie.
Op operationeel vlak zal er een onderscheid worden gemaakt tussen complementaire en
contradictorische bepalingen. Op het gebied van interpretatie zullen we kijken wat het gevolg zou zijn
van een éénrichtingsinterpretatie en van een wederzijdse interpretatiemogelijkheid..
31. Steven Jos Van Uytsel, Japan’s Recent Reform of its Enforcement Procedure to the Anti-monopoly Act, Annual Asian Competition Forum, 2015.11.
32. Steven Jos Van Uytsel, Antimonopoly Law, Enforcement, and Behavioral Science, Thai Office of the Judiciary Lecture Series, 2016.03.
33. Steven Jos Van Uytsel, Tackling Cartel Behavior in the Japanese Society: A Quest for a Different Approach, The Asian Law and Society, 2016.09, Deterrence has, for decades, been the mantra of competition law enforcement authorities in their fight against cartels. Fines and, if available, jail sentences reached record heights. Leniency policies were adopted to reach a higher probability of detection. The focus on high fines and increased probability of detection was inspired by assumption that firms are rational profit maximizers, weighing the costs and benefits of entering in a cartel, and that the height of fines and the probability of detection are determining factors for the cost of participating in a cartel.
Japan has for a long time not paid any attention to the deterrence mantra. To the contrary, the Japanese government undertook several initiatives to encourage cartel formation in the 1950s and 1960s. It could be stated that the favorable stance towards cartels finally faded away in the late 1990s, with an exception in the 1970s. In the 1970s, the Japanese legislator conceptualized a new sanction, the administrative surcharge. During the 1990s, the final pro-cartel legislations were abolished. At the same time, the legislator has taken steps to increase the level of fines and the Japan Fair Trade Commission has stepped up its enforcement initiatives.
The step towards a stricter application of the Anti-Monopoly Law (AML) continued since the turn to a new century. In 2005, Japan followed the steps of the United States and the European Union in implementing a leniency policy with the aim of increasing the probability of detection. In 2015, a long standing debate in academic writing was taken up in order to study whether it could be transformed into a policy goal. If implemented, this would mean that the JFTC would not be bound anymore by a legally determined percentage of the turnover when deciding on the surcharge.
Recent international scholarship is questioning whether the neoclassical economic paradigm of deterrence is effective. Maurice Stucke, for example, is pointing out, with four indicators, that cartel activity is persistent. A first indicator is the fact that penalties do not decrease. A second indicator is that the duration of cartels does not diminish. A third indicator is the continued workload of the enforcement authority in dealing with cartels. A fourth indicator is that firms persist in cartel formation even after publicizing record high fines.
Even though steps have been taken towards deterrence, Japan does still score badly on several of the indicators mentioned by Stucke. It may thus be questioned whether a continued emphasis on deterrence would deliver better results. This will be especially true if cartel formation is the result of a cost-benefit analysis, but of elements present in a certain society. That these societal elements are present in Japan will be the argument of this paper. Their presence will require a different approach, one that focuses on improving corporate culture, if one is serious of tackling cartel formation..
34. Steven Jos Van Uytsel, Technology Driven Innovation, Startups, and Competition Law: The Case of Japan, Annual Asian Competition Forum, 2016.12, Since his rise to power, Prime Minister Abe has undertaken several initiatives to (re)vitalize the Japanese economy. One of the initiatives is to divide up the country in special economic zones, assigning each of them with a different purpose. Fukuoka, the city in which the author’s university is based, has been designated as the National Strategic Special Zone for Global Startups & Job Creation. Soichiro Takashima, the young and driven mayor of Fukuoka, has specified that particularly technology-driven startups would be welcomed.
The general idea of a special economic zone is that it allows for the creation of new regulatory schemes and financing methods and so create tests beds for the rest of the country. Yet, the newly establishing ecosystem cannot necessarily deviate from all the national regulations that may be relevant for the purpose that has been attributed to a special economic zone. One of the national regulations that Mr. Takashima will not be able to bend is the Japanese Antimonopoly Law.
Competition law can be of importance for innovating startups. PaRR has reported that Facebook is being sued by a startup for exclusionary practices, such as tying. Uber is being accused of organizing fixing prices among independent drivers by obliging them to use a price setting algorithm. In other words, startups can either be sabotaged by established players who do not like the business or technology innovations or can be stopped or slowed because the business practice is not aligned with the law.

The innovating startups in Japan may face, among others, the above-described situations. Two questions arise. First, will the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) actively engage in applying the Antimonopoly Law to law infringing startups? Second, to what extent does the Antimonopoly Law offer a protective shield for the startups towards abusive and exclusionary behavior of the incumbent firms? The paper intends to draw conclusions on the intervention rate of JFTC in general, but in the technology driven sector in particular, in order to make predictions about the former. Past cases interpreting the antimonopoly legislation and recently issued guidelines will shed a light on the latter.
The prediction is that the innovative startups do have to expect neither ‘swift’ interventions of the JFTC nor ‘full’ protection. The reason for this statement is that not all anti-competitive behavior is well-delineated in the JFTC’s case law. Further, the heavy reliance of the JFTC on unfair trade practices may create unpredictable outcomes for the startups, in which incumbent firms would be able to act against startups for reasons not possible in other jurisdictions..
35. Steven Jos Van Uytsel, The Changed Enforcement Procedure in the Japanese Antimonopoly Law - A Procedural Fairness Perspective, Kyushu, UC Davis, & Korea University School of Law - International Seminar, 2015.04.
36. Steven Jos Van Uytsel, The New Law on GIs in Japan
A Missed Opportunity for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage?
, Centre of Asian Legal Studies, 2015.03, [URL], In its aspiration to revamp the agricultural industry, the Abe Cabinet conceded to a request of the agricultural lobby to adopt a law regulating geographical indications (GIs). On June 25, 2014, the Japanese Parliament promulgated the Act for the Protection of the Names of Designated Agricultural, Forestry and Fishery Products and Foodstuffs (GI Act). As the name of the law indicates, the GI Act regulates geographical indication for agricultural products.By denominating agricultural products with a GI, there is a hope that these products can secure a better valued access to the national and international market. A better valued market access is not the only reason for instigating a GI regime. There are more and more claims that the products eligible for registration as GI could be bearers of a rich cultural heritage. Thus, the argument goes, facilitating market access for the GI-denominated products could indirectly guarantee the safeguarding of the underlying heritage. Whether the safeguarding of the underlying heritage is possible in a GI framework depends on the compatibility of a GI legal framework with the internationally accepted framework for the safeguarding of the heritage: the 2003 UNESCO Convention on the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH Convention).The argument in this paper is that the ICH Convention is a framework convention, leaving much discretion to its member states to fulfill their duty of setting up a national legal framework for safeguarding ICH. Nothing in the ICH Convention prevents that such a national legal framework entails intellectual property law instruments. There is thus an opening for using GIs as a way to safeguard ICH. The only obstacle, however, would be a fundamental difference between the systems of GIs and ICH. In this respect, several scholars have pointed to the concept of authenticity that is underlying GIs. This obstacle is not insurmountable. It all depends on how the concept will be given content. The paper will analyze the GI Act against the backdrop of safeguarding ICH. This analysis will draw the following conclusions. First, seen the already extensive interpretation of agricultural products, it may be a missed opportunity not to extend the GI regime to other non-agricultural products and so encompass as much ICH as possible. Second, in terms of authenticity, the GI Act leaves a lot of flexibility. In order not to end up in a missed opportunity in this respect, the paper argues that much will depend on how the producers’ organizations will implement the GI Act. One should avoid standardization, top-down decision making and be open for an evolution in the production processes..
37. Steven Jos Van Uytsel, Standard Essential Patents and Competition Law: The Views from the Commission, EUIJ-Kyushu & RIETI & Kyushu Hosei Gakkai, 2015.06, [URL], Technology driven sectors have seen the growing importance of standards. These standards could be seen as technical specifications seeking a common design for a product or a process. By creating a common platform, the standard allows multiple producers to offer competing and complementary products. These standards expand thus the consumer choice and facilitate the convenience for users.

It may be that some of these standards depend on the invention by a particular firm. This firm will most likely have taken a patent on this invention. These patents will be essential for the effective implementation of the standard and are therefore called standard-essential patent. Any other firm willing to enter the product market for which the standard is applicable will have to obtain a license from the standard-essential patent holder. The essentiality of the patent for the standard will allow the patent holder to ‘royal’ compensation for these patents and so create a patent-hold-up.

The potential of claiming unreasonably high royalties makes it essential for standard setting organizations to check the existence of standard-essential patents when deciding on a new standard. Once a standard has been adopted, switching to an alternative technology may not be feasible. This will further increase the bargaining power of the holder of a standard-essential patent. This potentially lucrative perspective may induce patent holders to hide the existence of patents essential to a standard and only fully reveal it after the standard has been adopted. This kind of patent ambush may thus aggregate the patent hold-up that could be the result of standard-essential patents.

The question is to what extent competition law could react towards this kind of behavior in relation to this specific intellectual property right. This paper gives an overview of what the European Commission has decided so far in relation to the standard-essential patents and how competition law could help in avoiding the hold-up or punish in case of a patent ambush.
38. Steven Jos Van Uytsel, Japan's Overhaul of the Antimonopoly's Enforcement Procedure: A Procedural Fairness Perspective
, Asian Law Institute, 2015.05, [URL], Japan has long been struggling with positioning its economic policy towards competition law. Rather than aiming for a strong enforcement of competition law, Japanese ministries made several efforts to hollow out the substantive law provisions. Exemptions were adopted, penalties were kept low, and the enforcement agency was being controlled by the ministries favoring industrial policies. Foreign pressure and an economic downturn forced Japan to reconsider its stance towards competition law. Having had a long history of lax enforcement, this shift will, without any doubt, be a challenge to Japan. The business community has to be familiarized with the idea that competition law should be complied with.

Japan could do so by reverting to a long standing theory on compliance, which holds that behavior is most effectively influenced by a high likelihood of detection and punishment and the presence of severe sanctions. This argument would be welcomed by traditional competition law scholars. However, Japanese legislator is not only focusing on increasing the likelihood of detection and punishment or imposing higher sanctions. In a recent amendment to the Japanese competition law (2013), the legislator reconsidered its enforcement system. Important changes were made to the hearing procedures within the Fair Trade Commission (FTC) and the procedure for appealing the FTC’s decisions.

The legislator’s approach could fit within an alternative view on compliance, which holds that multiple motivations drive compliance. One of the motivations is procedural fairness. The aim of this paper is to investigate whether the changes to the procedural setting in the Japanese competition law could contribute to an increased commitment to adhere to the law. In other words, it will be investigated whether these changes allow the relevant authorities to be procedurally fair.
39. Steven Jos Van Uytsel, What is the EU, EUIJ-Kansai , 2013.08.
40. Steven Jos Van Uytsel, Leniency and the Antimonopoly Law in Japan: Deterrence or Opportunism?, ASLI, 2014.05.
41. Steven Jos Van Uytsel, The Draft Decree on Intangible Heritage in the Lao PDR: Safeguarding or Censorship?, Intangible Cultural Heritage in the Greater Mekong River Area Workshop, 2014.02.
42. Steven Jos Van Uytsel, The Kingdom of Cambodia and Intangible Cultural Heritage, Intangible Cultural Heritage in the Greater Mekong River Area Workshop, 2014.02.
43. Steven Jos Van Uytsel, Bi Ying, Economic Integration Through Effective Competition Enforcement, Asian Competition Forum, 2013.12.
44. Steven Jos Van Uytsel, Leniency Under the Japanese Antimonopoly Law: Towards the End of the Cartel Archipelago, Center for Business Law, 2013.08.