Japanese legislators, inspired by American and European counterparts, are gearing up to tackle the dominance of tech giants in the software sector. The Nikkei Asian Review reports that Japan intends to enforce fines on Apple and Google starting next year, specifically for monopolistic behavior concerning mobile app distribution and payment systems.
Implications of Proposed Legislation
Existing Japanese laws allow fines of up to 6% of revenue from monopolistic activities. In contrast, the US fines companies up to 10% of their yearly revenue. Recently, Google faced a $700 million fine along with temporary concessions. Japanese authorities plan to delineate their requirements for mobile market participants in the spring of the upcoming year.
Bill Highlights and Its Impact
The bill, presented to the Japanese Diet, covers diverse facets of mobile software distribution, encompassing application stores, payments, search and operating systems, and browsers. Its key objective is to prevent Google and Apple from mandating their services on users or giving them precedence in search results. The proposal advocates for app developers to promote products within the Apple ecosystem independently of the official app store. Additionally, it aims to grant users the choice of payment systems within applications. Criticism has arisen over Apple’s 30% payment commission and Google’s lack of flexibility in payment terms.
If approved, local developers could establish their own app stores on Apple devices and use their payment systems, notes NIXSolutions. The Japanese mobile application market has significantly grown to $29.2 billion from 2018 to 2023. This legislative move mirrors Europe’s Digital Services Act, which aims to regulate tech giants’ activities in information technology. The global trend indicates a shift towards specialized legislation targeting dominant players in major markets.