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Japan forces Google and Apple to support third-party app stores

Japanese courthouse (Source: DALL·E 3-generated image)
Japanese courthouse (Source: DALL·E 3-generated image)
After the European Union, Japan is stepping in by promoting a law that forces both Apple and Google to stop keeping third-party app stores out of their ecosystems. For now, some details are still sketchy, but a fine of 20% of the domestic revenue for the initial violation for a specific service is certain.

Competing with Google's and Apple's ecosystems in the app store market is an impossible task for third parties, unless a regulatory body steps in to set things right. In the European Union, Google has already faced the law for prioritizing the Play Store. Now, the same thing is happening in Japan, although the law that was recently adopted doesn't name any specific company.

Back in May, a bill that aims to fuel competition and push app prices down was adopted by the House of Representatives. This Wednesday, Japan's House of Councillors gave it the green light as well. Based on the existing regulations, the bill no longer needs the Emperor's seal to become law.

Big tech companies that prioritize their own app store services and offer terms that keep third parties out of their ecosystems will be fined 20% of the domestic revenue of the guilty service for their first misbehavior, but it can be increased to 30% if they don't set things right. 

The Japanese Fair Trade Commission will come up with a list of companies that will be targeted by the new regulations. These companies will have to submit annual compliance reports. Obviously, there's no chance for Google and Apple to miss this list, but it is also clear that any possible fines won't be applied before the end of 2025.

Those interested in a comparative overview of the antitrust approach by the European Union, Japan, and the United States can check Comparative Competition Law by Thomas Weck and Masako Wakui. The Kindle edition is currently 20% off and can be acquired for $62.40 instead of $78, and the hardcover variant goes for $96.54.

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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2024 06 > Japan forces Google and Apple to support third-party app stores
Codrut Nistor, 2024-06-13 (Update: 2024-06-13)