Apple, Google to face antitrust probe in Japan

The Japanese government will probe the activities of Apple and Google, amid growing allegations of antitrust violations by US tech giants. A government panel will be formed this month to probe the connection between domestic smartphone manufacturers and US companies, the Nikkei Asia reported citing a government source.

The current share of the operating smartphone systems Apple iOS and Google Android makes up around 90 percent of the Japanese market. A government panel, which consists of officials, bureaucrats and external experts, will kick off the discussion this month as Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android software stands at more than 90 per cent of the Japanese smartphone market, the paper said. The probe will include input from executives from domestic smartphone handset makers as well as manufacturers of smart speakers and personal computers. The panel will evaluate business dealings in Japan and whether they are conducted in a fair manner compared with cases overseas. The government may step up antitrust regulations if the panel finds any issues from the probe, the paper said. According to the Japanese newspaper, if the panel uncovers any suspicious activity, Japan may toughen its antitrust regulations.