Antitrust scrutiny is nothing new to Apple. The tech giant is facing complaints and investigations around the world. The U.S. and UK are looking heavily into Cupertinoâs practices. So are France, Germany, South Korea, and Australia. Now, the head of Japanâs antitrust regulator says the country is joining the battle.
According to a report by Reuters, Japan is about to join forces with the U.S. and Europe to tackle alleged market abuses by the four Big Tech companies. These companies include Google, Samsung, Facebook, and, of course, Apple. Taken together, regulators refer to the four as GAFA.
Kazuyuki Furuya is the chairman of Japanâs Fair Trade Commission (FTC). This organization, Japanâs antitrust regulator, is joining up with other companies to prevent antitrust activities around the world. These can include mergers or other business tie-ups. Furuya told Reuters:
If the size of any merger or business-tie up is big, we can launch an anti-monopoly investigation into the buyerâs process of acquiring a start-up (like Fitbit). Weâre closely watching developments including in Europe.
Developers have been getting more vocal in criticizing App Store policies, prompting antitrust regulators to add the Cupertino tech giant to its list of most-watched companies.
For example, developers claim that the App Storeâs âstrangleholdâ is becoming stronger than ever. When Apple demanded ProtonMail use In-App Purchases, even though the app was originally approved without them, the developer spoke up. ProtonMail even likened the move to âMafia extortion.â
When Cupertino demanded IAPs, ProtonMail emailed its customers telling them about the change. Apple responded by threatening to remove the app and block updates.
Also, letâs not forget Epic Gamesâ struggle with Apple. Epic’s flagship game, Fortnite, is still missing from the App Store because of ongoing disputes over Cupertinoâs demand that all purchases and other payments use IAPs.
For these, and other reasons, many countries are closely watching Apple. Japanâs antitrust regulator is just the latest to join in the battle.
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Apple, United States antitrust law, Competition law
World news – US – Japanâs Antitrust Regulator âReadyâ to Take on Apple – The Mac Observer