CASE 1 (20 Marks)
Kodak started selling photographic equipment on Japan 1889 and by the 1930s it had a dominant position in the Japanese market. But after World War II, U.S occupation forces persuaded most U.S companies including Kodak to leave Japan to give the war torn local industry a chance to recover. Kodak was effectively priced out of the market by tariff barriers; over the next 35 years Fuji gained 70% share of the market while Kodak saw its share slip to miserable 5%. During this period Kodak limited much of its activities in Japan.
This situation persisted until early 1980s when Fuji launched an aggressive export drive, attacking Kodak in the north American and European markets. Deciding that a good offence is the best defense, in 1984 and the next six year, Kodak outspent Fuji in Japan by a ratio of more than 3 to 1. It erected mammoth $ 1 million near signs as land marks in many of the Japan’s big cities and also sponsored Sumo wrestling, Judo, and tennis tournaments and even the Japanese team at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. Thus Kodak has put Fuji on defensive, forcing it to divert resources from overseas to defend itself at home. By 1990’s, some of Fuji’s best executives had been pulled back to Tokyo.
All this success, however , was apparently not enough for Kodak. In may 1995, Kodak filed a petition with the US trade office, that accured the Japanese government and Fuji of “Unfair trading practices”. According to the petition, the Japanese government helped to create a ‘ profile sanctuary’ for Fuji in Japan by systematically denying Kodak access to Japanese distribution channels for consumer film and paper. Kodak claims Fuji has effectively shut Kodak products out of four distributors that have a 70% share of the photo distribution market. Fuji has an equity position in two of the distributors, gives... [continues]
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