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Japan's New Law Targets Big Tech Monopolies, Promising Fairer Competition and Lower App Prices

A Beacon of Hope for Third-Party App Developers in Japan

NEWS  News  June 14, 2024  Reading time: 2 Minute(s)

mdo Max (RS editor)

In the app store market, competing with the robust ecosystems of Google and Apple has long seemed an insurmountable challenge for third-party developers. This is primarily due to the dominant positions held by these tech giants, which allow them to prioritize their own app stores and impose restrictive terms on competitors. 


However, regulatory bodies around the world are beginning to take steps to level the playing field. Following in the footsteps of the European Union, Japan has now adopted new legislation aimed at fostering competition and driving down app prices.

In May, Japan's House of Representatives passed a bill designed to stimulate competition in the app store market. This Wednesday, the bill received final approval from the House of Councillors. As a result, the legislation is now set to become law without needing the Emperor's seal, marking a significant milestone in Japan's regulatory landscape.

The new law imposes stringent penalties on big tech companies that prioritize their own app store services to the detriment of third-party developers. Companies found guilty of such practices will face fines amounting to 20% of the domestic revenue of the offending service for the first violation. If they fail to rectify their conduct, the fine can increase to 30%. This regulatory framework aims to dismantle the barriers that have long stifled competition and innovation in the app store market.

Enforcement of the law will be overseen by the Japanese Fair Trade Commission, which will compile a list of companies subject to the new regulations. These companies will be required to submit annual compliance reports, ensuring ongoing adherence to the law. While it is almost certain that Google and Apple will be included on this list, the enforcement of fines is not expected before the end of 2025.





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