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Anime Firms Say They Were Forced to Take Low Tenders

posted on by Egan Loo
Report says 40%+ of respondents were forced to accept low payments

The Fair Trade Commission of the Japanese government has issued a report (outline, part 1, part 2 in PDF format) on the state of the domestic animation industry on Friday. Over 40% of the companies that responded to the commission's survey said that they had been forced to accept low tenders from the companies that commissioned animation work. Such low payments, if verified, would be violations of Japan's Anti-monopoly Law.

The respondents told the commission, "We had to accept the schedule based on the production cost of a preposterously low budget for each animator without any consideration for holidays," and, "The commissioning company canceled the order without explanation, and did not compensate us for expenses already incurred for the production."

The commission surveyed 533 companies, and 114 responded. 42.4% of the responses said that the companies had to take low payments without sufficient negotiations. While 82 of the responding companies themselves farmed out subcontracting work to other companies, only 14 of them said they always arranged the contract conditions in writing before work began. 62.8% of the companies were small outfits with 10 million yen (about US$100,000) or less in capital each. Only 19.5% had more than 50 million yen (about US$500,000) in capital. 30.1% of the companies had 10 employees or less, although 63.7% had between 11 and 100 employees.

According to a May 2008 survey by The Association of Japanese Animations (AJA), the anime industry's market grew every year from 2003 to 2006, but shrank in 2007. In 2003, the market was worth 167.4 billion yen (US$1.9 billion), including revenues from television, film, video production and rights, video sales, distribution, merchandising, overseas business, music, and publishing. In 2006, it reached a high of 258.8 billion yen (US$2.9 billion), only to fall to 239.6 billion yen (US$2.7 billion) in the following year.

Thank you to dynasore for the news tip.

Source: Daily Yomiuri, Slashdot.jp

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