Japan Eyeing New Regulations for Smartphone Apps

Reuters file photo
The Apple Incl logo is seen at the entrace to the Apple store in Brussels in November.

The government is weighing a new law to regulate smartphone app stores and other services operated by U.S. information technology giants, according to sources.

A survey by the Japan Fair Trade Commission found Apple Inc. and Google LLC’s effective duopoly in the app store and operating-system markets prevents sufficient competition vis-a-vis lower fees, and has other negative effects, too.

The government intends to develop regulations that will make it easier for other companies to enter such markets and make it more difficult for firms to give preferential treatment to their own services, the sources said.

The antitrust watchdog released Thursday the results of a fact-finding survey it started conducting in October 2021 on app stores and smartphones OSs.

According to the report, the OS market is dominated by Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS. Additionally, the Google Play and App Store software portals — operated by Google and Apple, respectively — also dominate, it said.