Japan’s antitrust regulator to inspect Apple’s App Store more closely

Japan’s antitrust authority has recently stated it will keep a watchful eye over Apple’s App Store practices, a decision reportedly prompted by the tech giant’s high-profile battle with Epic Games. While Epic’s legal battle with the Cupertino tech giant focuses on the 30% revenue cut App store’s standard commission, Japanese game studios have bigger concerns regarding Apple’s digital marketplace.

Japanese developers have been unhappy for a long time with what they see as Appleā€™s irregular implementation of its own App Store guidelines, unpredictable content decisions, and errors in communication, according to more than a dozen people sources involved with the matter.


Japanese Developers Question Apple’s App Store Policy

Though the Japan Fair Trade Commission failed to go so far as to launch an official investigation into App Store’s guidelines, the body said it will pay closer attention to Apple’s business, reports Bloomberg.

Alongside administration pressure, a handful of app developers in the region are speaking out against Apple’s management of the App Store, though the movement appears to be more about communication and developer relations than the tech giant’s irksome 30% commission.


Developers in Japan are familiar with Apple’s revenue-sharing model, which takes a 30% part of in-app purchases, as a similar practice was adopted by Nintendo in the 1980s. Most app makers do not mind the fee but expect better service from a company of such high value as the iPhone maker, the report said.

Makoto Shoji, founder of PrimeTheory Inc. told Bloomberg that,

“Apple’s app review is often ambiguous, subjective and irrational. Apple’s response to developers is often curt and boilerplate, but even with that, you must be polite on many occasions, like a servant asking the master what he wants next. Market needs a firm that markets a service called ‘iOS Reject Rescue’ to help developers navigate the problematic App Store approval process.


Some developers find Apple’s App Store procedures problematic, especially when compared to Google’s Android Play Store. Many developers have found that Google’s approval process is “smoother” and the search giant communicates clearly on what it requires from the developers:

“Yet the App Store is particularly problematic, according to game developers, compared with Google’s Android Play Store, where the approval process tends to be smoother and there’s better communication. There’s even a third-party service dubbed iOS Reject Rescue, designed to help developers navigate through the unpredictable approval process.”

“While Apple will never admit it, I think there are times when they simply forget an item’s in the review queue or they intentionally keep it untouched as a sanction to a developer giving them the wrong attitude,” said Shoji.

The Cupertino tech giant said it works to provide high-quality support to the Japanese development community through 1,400+ advisers and customer service employees based in the country. In addition to this, the company’s app review team operates across two time zones and makes Japanese-speaking representatives available by phone.

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About the Author

Asma is an editor at iThinkDifferent with a strong focus on social media, Apple news, streaming services, guides, mobile gaming, app reviews, and more. When not blogging, Asma loves to play with her cat, draw, and binge on Netflix shows.

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