Apple Objects to Japanese Antitrust Report Calling for Third-Party App Stores

BY Anu Joy

Published 26 Apr 2022

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Apple is fighting back against a new Japanese antitrust report that is trying to reduce the dominance of Big Tech firms such as Apple and Google. The proposal intends to lower developer fees and introduce multiple app stores within the platforms.

Today, the Japanese government released a report calling for regulations to level the smartphone operating system playing field, which is dominated by Apple and Google. The interim report points out that iPhones and Android devices come with pre-installed web browsers. This leaves most users with no choice but to use the default apps, which in turn could negatively impact third-party browsers. To counter this anti-competitive behavior, the report proposes new rules which will prevent companies from offering only their own default apps.

Additionally, the government also touched upon the issue of high developer fees, wherein Apple takes a 15 to 30 percent commission on app revenue. It also noted that the App Store has become a monopoly and called for the iPhone maker to include third-party app stores. The same issue has been hotly debated by other governments and has also been the subject of several lawsuits. Furthermore, Apple doesn’t allow sideloading, which limits iOS users’ access to third-party apps and app stores.

Apple countered the Japanese government’s claim saying, “We respectfully disagree with a number of conclusions.” The firm added that although it is facing “intense competition in every business segment,” it will continue to “engage constructively with the Japanese government.”

On the other hand, Google released a separate statement that it has been cooperating with the Japanese government. The company highlighted that Google has greatly contributed to the smartphone industry. The search giant added it will study the report in detail.

The government will reportedly call on the public to share their opinions on the issue and schedule a few more discussions before compiling a final report. The European Union (EU) is set to introduce a new law called the Digital Markets Act (DMA) which intends to make the marketplace fairer and more competitive. The current DMA proposal will force Apple to allow third-party payment options on the App Store, among other things.

Do you think Apple will bow down to the Japanese government and offer multiple app stores? Let us know in the comments.

[Via The Japan Times]