December 11, 2020 Guidance to SoftBank Corp. on Thorough Measures, including Guidance to Contractors (Sales Agents)

The facts were revealed that intermediary business consignees that handle SoftBank Air, an Internet connection service provided by SoftBank Corp. (headed by MIYAUCHI Ken, President and CEO), were operating without reporting their intermediary business. Accordingly, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (IMC) instructed SoftBank Corp. to thoroughly implement measures, including guidance for a person entrusted with intermediation as stipulated in Article 27-4 of the Telecommunications Business Act (Act No. 86 of 1984).

Outline of the case and content of administrative guidance

The facts specified below were found in g-room (a company headed by YOSHIDA Yuichi, Representative Director), RAY SPEC (a company headed by OKUMURA Hideki, Representative Director), and Sail Group (a company headed by NASU Yusuke, Representative Director). SoftBank Corp. (hereafter referred to as “SoftBank”) entrusts g-room as a dealer to handle SoftBank Air, an Internet connection service (hereafter referred to as the “Service”) provided by SoftBank. RAY SPEC was not an authorized SoftBank dealer but is an intermediary business consignee entrusted by g-room with business operations related to the Service. Sail Group (headed by NASU Yosuke, Representative Director) was an intermediary business consignee entrusted by RAY SPEC with business related to the Service.

  • 1.
    RAY SPEC was entrusted by g-room with intermediary business related to the Service from around November 2018 to September 2020. Nevertheless, there was a deficiency in reporting their business details, i.e., the description of intermediation prescribed in Article 73-2, Paragraph 1 of the Act. That is to say, SoftBank’s name and address were missing from the name or name and address of the telecommunications carrier that provides the telecommunications service related to the intermediary business as specified in item 3 of the same paragraph.
  • 2.

    Sail Group was entrusted by RAY SPEC with intermediary business related to the Service from around November 2018 to April 2020. Nevertheless, there was a deficiency in reporting their business details, i.e., the description of intermediation prescribed in Article 73-2, Paragraph 1 of the Act.

    • *
      Furthermore, RAY SPEC reported that it already completed operations, including intermediation related to telecommunications services. Sail Group reported that it already completed operations, including intermediation related to telecommunications services, on April 30, 2020.
  • 3.
    At least from around November 2017 through around February 2018, Sail Group may have given explanations that misled consumers in condominiums to think that Sail Group was related to the condominium management companies. For example, Sail Group used a solicitation model talk described in business talk procedures in writing provided by g-room and RAY SPEC.
    (Description of a specifically confirmed document)
    “I am in charge of guiding communications equipment in this area. My name is XX, and I am from RAY SPEC.”
    “I manage the communications equipment of XX (the building’s name) here. My name is XX, and I am from of RAY SPEC.”
  • 4.
    From November 2018 through September 2020, RAY SPEC conducted solicitation by introducing themselves as g-room and deceived consumers. From November 2018 through April 2020, Sail Group conducted solicitation by introducing themselves as g-room and deceived consumers.

RAY SPEC and Sail Group’s violation of the provisions of Article 73-2, Paragraph 1 of the Act (obligation to report operations such as intermediation) was found from 1 and 2.
RAY SPEC and Sail Group’s risk of violating the provisions of Article 27-2, Item 1 (i.e., the prohibition of misrepresentation) of the Act and their violation of Item 2 of the same Article (i.e., the prohibition of soliciting without telling the name or the fact of solicitation) were found from 3 and 4.

In response to the above facts, MIC instructed SoftBank to thoroughly implement measures, including guidance, for intermediary business consignees based on the provisions of Article 27-4 of the Act so that such a situation will not occur again.

MIC will continue striving to protect the interests of users.

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International Policy Division, Global Strategy Bureau, MIC

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