Apple is facing another investigation by Japan’s Fair Trade Commission (FTC). The commission is checking if the tech giant is “leveraging” its dominance in the smartphone operating system (OS) market to crush the competition and restrict choice for consumers. Google will also be probed by the commission for forcing Android manufacturers to pre-install its search engine on their smartphones.
Nikkie Asia reports that in February this year, the Japanese government passed an Act on Improving Transparency and Fairness of Digital Platform. And now the officials are deciding if the law will apply to the OS market and if OS operators like Apple and Google will have to submit regular reports on transactions to the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry.
Like US FTC, Japan wants to regulate Apple’s and Google’s dominance of the app market to make it more competitive
As per the report, investigators will conduct surveys and interview OS operators, app developers, and smartphone users to determine if Apple’s and Google’s implement anticompetitive practices to stifle competition in the smartphone, smartwatches, and wearables markets.
The antitrust watchdog will compile a report outlining OS market structure and the reason why competition has remained static. The commission will work with the central government’s Digital Market Competition Council, which is moving forward with its own market probe.
Practices found to be anticompetitive will be itemized in the report, along with possible violations of Japan’s law against monopolies.
Japan has joined regulators in U.S., EU, and other countries to keep Apple’s and Google’s growing dominance in smart devices markets. Previously, Japan’s Fair Trade Commission chairman Kazuyuki Furuya said he is keeping an eye on the anti-competitive behavior of tech giants with an overwhelming global presence: Apple, Google, Amazon, and Facebook.
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