More troubles seem to be brewing for global technology giants Apple and Google in Japan. The Japanese government has announced to conduct an inquiry into the business practices of the two technology companies following complaints of antitrust against them.
According to the Japanese government, Apple has been the subject of multiple antitrust probes alongside other tech giants, including Google. The investigation initiated by the Japanese government is likely to affect both the iPhone maker and the search giant.
A government panel will apparently launch this month to look into tightening antitrust regulations, according to sources of Nikkei said in a report. The government panel will discuss the dealings of Apple and Google with Japanese smartphone producers, including whether they handle domestic companies fairly compared to overseas vendors.
It is believed that iOS and Android make up more than 90 per cent of the Japanese smartphone market, according to the report. An analysis by IDC in February pointed to Apple selling nearly half of all mobile phones in the country for the entirety of 2020.
The alleged Japanese probe will become the latest in a long line of similar activity by governments and regulators around the world, seeking to curtail the power of tech giants like Apple. In Europe, antitrust commission chief Margrethe Vestager said on June 10 that Apple should allow alternate app stores on its platform, to enable proper competition, and wants legislation to be introduced forcing the issue.
The US is also aiming at tech companies, with the US House lawmakers revealing an array of bills on June 11, in response to a House Judiciary Committee report into big tech business practices.
Away from governments, Apple has also recently been dealing with a lawsuit by Epic Games demanding changes to App Store policies, among other elements. Other attempts at class-action antitrust lawsuits are also being made.