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Japan’s Antitrust Overhaul Targets Tech Titans Like Apple

 |  April 17, 2024

Japan is ramping up its antitrust regulations in a bid to crack down on monopolistic practices among major corporations, taking cues from recent actions by the European Commission. Following the EU’s mandate forcing Apple to allow third-party app stores on its iOS platform, Japan is now targeting the tech giant, signaling a broader crackdown on possible anticompetitive behavior.

Currently, Japanese law penalizes companies found guilty of monopolistic practices with fines up to 6% of their sales. However, policymakers are proposing a significant increase in penalties, with the new framework suggesting fines of 20% of sales for initial violations, and reaching up to 30% for repeated non-compliance.

Related: Japan Prepares ‘Digital Antitrust Law’ to Challenge Apple and Google App Store Policies

This move follows hints from Japanese authorities in December 2023 about impending regulatory changes aimed at combatting anti-competitive practices. Apple, particularly its App Store policies, was warned about potential revisions. The issue centers on Apple’s requirement for all subscriptions and paid apps to use its payment system, which imposes fees of up to 30%, drawing criticism for stifling competition.

Japan’s proposed changes mirror the EU’s efforts to promote fair competition and consumer choice. By potentially forcing Apple to open its platform to third-party app stores and alternative payment systems, Japan aims to dismantle barriers limiting competition and innovation in the digital marketplace.

Source: GS Marena