In 2024, Japanese lawmakers are set to address the issue of monopolies held by Apple and Google through legislative measures
Japan is gearing up to challenge the monopoly stronghold of tech giants Apple and Google through upcoming regulatory measures. The proposed legislation aims to compel Apple to allow the presence of alternative app stores on iOS and mandates both Apple and Google to permit alternate billing systems on their platforms. Details on potential penalties are anticipated to be revealed in the spring, according to Nikkei.
The move seeks to address the dominance of Apple and Google in controlling ecosystems, including restrictions on rivals using their billing systems. Apple’s current stance disallows alternate app stores on iOS, limiting downloads exclusively to the Apple App Store with its associated 30% fee on in-app purchases. Meanwhile, Google’s systems in Japan allow third-party platforms, but their billing system is predominantly required.
The proposed changes underscore a shift in the landscape for both companies. While iOS users may express concerns about potential disruptions, the legislation emphasizes that third-party app stores and payments will only be allowed if user privacy and security can be maintained.
Beyond app store monopolies, the legislation extends its reach to challenge the dominance of Apple and Google in browsers, payments, and operating systems. The Japan Fair Trade Commission is poised to impose fines on Google and Apple for any violations if the legislation progresses as planned.
The issue of a Google and Apple monopoly is not unique to Japan, as evidenced by Epic Games pursuing legal cases against both companies. Google recently lost a court battle with Epic, resulting in temporary changes to the Play Store and a $700 million fee. The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has also expressed concerns, initiating an investigation into web browsers and cloud gaming later this month. The global pushback against tech monopolies continues, with Japan taking a significant step toward regulatory intervention.
Source: adapted from an article by Aaron Astle, News Editor for PocketGamer.biz.