Japan to probe Apple and Google in antitrust discussions

Posted:
in General Discussion edited June 14
Apple is set to face more scrutiny of its business practices, with the Japanese government said to be preparing another antitrust probe into both Apple and Google.




Apple has been the subject of multiple antitrust probes alongside other tech giants, including Google. It seems that Japan will be adding its own investigation to the pile in the near future, one that will affect both the iPhone maker and the search giant.

A government panel will apparently launch this month to look into tightening antitrust regulations, according to sources of Nikkei in a report seen by the Mercury News. The panel will apparently discuss the dealings of Apple and Google with Japanese smartphone producers, including whether they handle domestic companies fairly compared to overseas vendors.

It is believed that iOS and Android make up more than 90% of the Japanese smartphone market, according to the report. Analysis by IDC in February pointed to Apple selling nearly half of all mobile phones in the country for the entirety of 2020.

The alleged Japanese probe will become the latest in a long line of similar activity by governments and regulators around the world, seeking to curtail the power of tech giants like Apple.

In Europe, antitrust commission chief Margrethe Vestager said on June 10 that Apple should allow alternate app stores on its platform, to enable proper competition, and wants legislation to be introduced forcing the issue.

The United States is also taking aim at tech companies, with U.S. House lawmakers revealing an array of bills on June 11, in response to a House Judiciary Committee report into big tech business practices. The five measures included bills to make it illegal for the companies to operate a line of business that creates a conflict of interest, preventing the acquisition of rising rivals, and a bill to make it easier for consumers to use competing platforms together and easily switch between them.

Away from governments, Apple has also recently been dealing with a lawsuit by Epic Games demanding changes to App Store policies, among other elements. Other attempts at class action antitrust lawsuits are also being made.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    Not a single original technological idea has come out of Japan that wasn’t created somewhere else first. Why should this be any different. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 11
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,648member
    Why should companies be forced to “ make it easier for consumers to use competing platforms together and easily switch between them.”? This makes no sense. This is like forcing metric and SAE wrenches to be the same size so you can easily switch between them. They’re different, everything isn’t the same so quit trying to say it is. macOS is different from Windows. I don’t see anybody forcing Microsoft to produce software for Macs or Linux/Unix systems. It’s all customer and sales driven. Why isn’t Microsoft being included in any of these antitrust proceedings? 
    Beatswatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 11
    genovellegenovelle Posts: 1,274member
    rob53 said:
    Why should companies be forced to “ make it easier for consumers to use competing platforms together and easily switch between them.”? This makes no sense. This is like forcing metric and SAE wrenches to be the same size so you can easily switch between them. They’re different, everything isn’t the same so quit trying to say it is. macOS is different from Windows. I don’t see anybody forcing Microsoft to produce software for Macs or Linux/Unix systems. It’s all customer and sales driven. Why isn’t Microsoft being included in any of these antitrust proceedings? 
    Microsoft is helping drive this by appearing with the plaintiffs. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 11
    genovellegenovelle Posts: 1,274member
    If the governments wants to control the App Store and make it unprofitable, they need to fund all of the investments and reimbursed Apple for everything they have invested thus far. Apple is a business not a public utility. They have to compete on many fronts and in most cases they are competing with whole industries. Like Every windows PC manufacturer and all Android  phone Makers as if they are one company. This sucks because Apple doesn’t have close to a monopoly for any of their products. They design their products and services to best serve their customer who are the losers in this kind of foolishness. 

    These laws means that this industry that has thrived with Apple consistently pushing the envelope and by incorporating different technologies will stagnate once again. It has Apple that has pushed through a number of technological changes by working for years to develop integration between them to make our lives better, sometimes by removing legacy tech from their products to usher in something new. 
    pulseimageswatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 11
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,741member
    This makes zero sense.  Apple creates an encapsulated product, and others are demanding Apple opens up its proprietary product for others?  This will be litigated for years/decades until irrelevant.  
    Beatsleavingthebiggwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 11
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 5,905member
    sflocal said:
    This makes zero sense.  Apple creates an encapsulated product, and others are demanding Apple opens up its proprietary product for others?  This will be litigated for years/decades until irrelevant.  
    It isn't encapsulated. It depends entirely on external software to offer customers what they need and from a hardware ecosystem perspective, just this week, the EU presented a preliminary report packed full of examples where the likes of Apple, Google et al could harm competition and stifle innovation. 
    kestral
  • Reply 7 of 11
    KuyangkohKuyangkoh Posts: 732member
    Not a single original technological idea has come out of Japan that wasn’t created somewhere else first. Why should this be any different. 
    Excuse me, Walkman by Sony???I am old enough in having that gadget 
    kestral
  • Reply 8 of 11
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 5,905member
    Kuyangkoh said:
    Not a single original technological idea has come out of Japan that wasn’t created somewhere else first. Why should this be any different. 
    Excuse me, Walkman by Sony???I am old enough in having that gadget 
    And Mini-Disc. If it weren't for the anti-copy and atrac... 
    kestral
  • Reply 9 of 11
    I totally think that this was an innovative way to force a back door into the OS without actually asking for one. Once alternate stores are available there is nothing to stop someone to install spyware and other apps to get their abilities they want on your device. Sometimes it will be Goverment demand that you do it yourself. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 11
    Apple's arguments against allowing users to install any software they want on their iPhones sound remarkably similar to AT&T's arguments decades ago against allowing users to add or maintain the phone wiring in their homes or own their phones rather than lease them from AT&T. They said that users would damage the phone network if they were allowed to fiddle with the wires in their homes or buy phones from other companies. They argued that phones were an essential service and far too technical for an average person to maintain. At the time AT&T was a government sanctioned monopoly. It was the breaking up of AT&T's monopoly that led to Apple releasing the iPhone and eventually arguing, like AT&T did, that users shouldn't be trusted to make decisions for themselves.
    edited June 14 gatorguyNestorius
  • Reply 11 of 11
    In response to the comments here, this is about a fair playing field FOR BUSINESSES. How are you not harmed by the lack of choice out there? You got an iPhone or Google's operating system! That's all!
    Two companies ruling your data and yeah you download a photos app to store most of your photos, but it is registered and sent via the O.S. You have search engines that were excluded from Chrome! Apple downplaying competing services on "the marketplace" (sure, Apple) and copying every idea from competing apps to install in their ecosystem from which more will use because of its ease for its aforementioned ecosystem. 
    It's not fair to app developers, and businesses in general. 
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