According to a recent assessment by the Japan Fair Trade Commission (FTC), which Nikkei shared, Apple’s App Store practises may be in violation of Japanese antitrust law. Because Apple and Google control a duopoly of mobile operating systems and the majority of the app business, Japanese regulators do not think there is enough “competitive pressure” on these two corporations.
Japanese regulators want Apple and Google to give users the option of using third-party payment methods in place of the built-in App Store and Play Store purchase options when purchasing apps and services. As of 2022, Google and Apple both permit third-party payment choices for apps in a relatively small number of nations where legislation mandating alternative payments has been passed.
According to the FTC, commission rates for app stores that range between 15 and 30 percent may be an abuse of a dominating negotiating position. In response, Google claimed that most developers only pay rates of 15% or less, while Apple claimed that a commission-based approach was the best way to promote development.
Additionally, the two businesses were charged with rigging search results to elevate their own apps above rivals, a charge they vigorously rejected.
The Japan FTC has stated that it intends to collaborate with the government council on digital competition on new laws and has called for additional regulation to stifle anti-competitive behaviour. According to FTC chief Ryota Inaba, the agency will “act strongly to any behaviour determined to contravene antitrust legislation.”
According to a report released today, Japan might compel Apple to embrace third-party payment methods, just as South Korea has done since that nation passed legislation prohibiting app store owners from pressuring developers to use their billing systems.
In the Netherlands, Apple has a similar exemption for dating apps, allowing them to accept alternative payment methods following a disagreement with the nation’s Authority for Consumers and Markets.
Apple is preparing for the Digital Markets Act in Europe, which mandates that it enable sideloading or alternative app stores for iPhone software downloads. This functionality is anticipated as early as iOS 17.
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