Japan To Join Global Efforts To Regulate Apple, Google, Amazon, and Facebook

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Japan will be joining global efforts with the United States and Europe to work on regulations for Big Tech which includes Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Google. These companies have already been under antitrust scrutiny around the world.

Japan's new head of Fair Trade Commission, Kazuyuki Furuya, told Reuters that probes will be launched into mergers, such as that of Fitbit with Google, given the size of the deal.

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“If the size of any merger or business-tie up is big, we can launch an anti-monopoly investigation into the buyer’s process of acquiring a start-up (like Fitbit). We’re closely watching developments including in Europe.”

All four Big Tech companies, Apple, Amazon, Google, and Facebook, are under the microscope for using their market dominance to squash competition. Japan is currently working on a framework to introduce regulations for all digital platform owners. Kazuyuki Furuya said that Japan will be working closely with its U.S. and European counterparts to tackle anti-competitive practices.

Amazon's online store, Google search, ads, and Android, Facebook's apps and policies, and Apple's App Store are being investigated for abusing their market dominance. There are already investigations underway in the United States and various European countries to see if regulations need to be introduced to keep Big Tech's power in check. The CEOs from all these four companies had also appeared in the U.S. Congress to testify before the House Committee.

Apple already faces an antitrust probe in Japan over its App Store policies due to complaints by game developers over its support policies, approval mechanism, and poor communication. The developers were not as concerned about App Store's 30% commission as they were with the non-transparent communication from Apple's support teams.

Kazuyuki Furuya is aiming to aggressively pursue these probes and open new ones to restrict these platforms owners from abusing their dominant position in their respective markets.

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