Japan’s Fair Trade Commission has said that Seven-Eleven Japan, the convenience business of Seven & I, illegally pressured franchisees not to reduce the price of food products.

In a statement the commission said that Seven-Eleven forced franchisees to stop discounting by implying that it would end its relationship with those stores that cut food prices.

The trade watchdog ordered the company to cease such practices.

However, according to a Reuters report, Seven & I denied that it restricted the pricing decisions of franchisees.

“We would like to carefully study (the FTC’s order) and decide whether to accept or not,” Ryuichi Isaka, Seven-Eleven Japan president, reportedly said.