Apple and Google face Japanese antitrust investigation

Apple is set to face more scrutiny over its business practices, with the Nikkei Asian Review reporting that the Japanese government is preparing another antitrust investigation against both Apple and Google. Apple has been the subject of several antitrust investigations along with other tech giants, including Google. Japan appears to be adding its own investigation to the group in the near future, one affecting the iPhone maker and search giant.

A government panel this month apparently begins looking at toughening antitrust regulations, as the panel discusses Apple and Google's dealings with Japanese smartphone producers, including whether they treat local companies fairly compared to overseas suppliers. It is believed that iOS and Android make up more than 90 percent of the Japanese smartphone market.

An analysis by market research firm IDC in February indicated that Apple sold nearly half of all mobile phones in the country throughout the entire year of 2020.

Apple and monopoly charges

The Japanese investigation becomes the latest in a long line of similar activity by governments and regulators around the world, trying to curb the power of the tech giants. In Europe, Antitrust Commission chairwoman Margrethe Vestager said on June 10 that Apple should allow alternative app stores across its platform, to enable proper competition, and wants legislation to force the company to be introduced.

The United States is also targeting technology companies. Lawmakers in the US House of Representatives unveiled a raft of bills on June 11. This is in response to the House Judiciary Committee's report on Big Tech Business Practices.

The five measures included bills making it illegal for companies to operate a business that creates a conflict of interest. and preventing the acquisition of emerging competitors. As well as a bill to make it easier for consumers to use competing platforms together and easily switch between them.

Beyond governments, Apple was recently dealing with a lawsuit by Epic Games. The game maker is asking for changes to the App Store policies, among other things. Other attempts are also being made to bring class-action lawsuits against monopoly.

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