Japan to Launch Antitrust Probe into Apple, Google

Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks with attendees during an Apple (JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images)product launch event at Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, California on September 10, 2019. - Apple unveiled its iPhone 11 models Tuesday, touting upgraded, ultra-wide cameras as it updated its popular smartphone lineup and cut its entry price to …
JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images

A recent report states that the Japanese government is set to launch an antitrust investigation into Apple and Google’s deals with Japanese smartphone makers.

Bloomberg reports that the Japanese government plans to start investigating how Apple and Google interact with Japanese smartphone makers. This could in turn lead to the tightening of antitrust regulations, an area in which Apple and Google have both faced multiple challenges in recent months.

The information was first reported by the Nikkei newspaper on Sunday, but did not provide a source for its information. A government panel, consisting of officials, bureaucrats and external experts, are set to launch the discussions this month as Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android software account for 90 percent of the Japanese smartphone market.

The investigation will include input from executives from Japanese smartphone handset makers as well as manufacturers of smart speakers and computers. The panel is set to evaluate business dealings of the Masters of the Universe in Japan and whether they are conducted in a fair manner.

The Japanese government may step up its antitrust regulations if the panel finds issues during the probe, according to Nikkei. Antitrust action has become a major point of contention for big tech in recent years, recently a group of House lawmakers proposed a sweeping legislative package that could curb the power of Big Tech companies and force Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Apple to sever their dominant platforms from their other lines of business.

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) also recently stated that it will investigate Apple over recent complaints from software developers about the Silicon Valley giant’s App Store. Currently, Apple only lets developers release iPhone and iPad apps through its iOS smartphone platform. The company has an intense approval process for iOS apps and has faced criticism for its fees of up to 30 percent on in-app transactions.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address lucasnolan@protonmail.com

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