Japan wants to end Apple and Google duopoly in app market

The Japanese government’s commitment to breaking the stronghold of Apple and Google showcases its determination to champion fair competition and consumer interests.

In a move to promote fair competition and enhance consumer choice, Japan has unveiled plans to open up the smartphone app market currently dominated by tech giants Apple and Google. According to Reuters, the government’s initiative aims to encourage a more diverse and competitive landscape for mobile applications.

Under the proposed measures, developers will be granted increased freedom to offer alternative payment options within their apps, bypassing the mandatory use of Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store payment systems. This change seeks to address concerns regarding the control exerted by these dominant platforms and the associated fees imposed on developers.

The Japanese government recognizes the need to nurture a vibrant ecosystem where innovative applications can flourish and users can access a wider array of choices. By enabling developers to offer alternative payment methods, the aim is to foster healthy competition, driving innovation and providing consumers with more affordable options.

The current duopoly of Apple and Google has drawn criticism globally for their strict rules and high commission rates, which some argue stifle competition and limit developers’ revenue streams. By introducing greater flexibility, Japan hopes to level the playing field and provide a platform for smaller app stores to thrive.

The proposed reforms align with global trends in app marketplace regulation, as countries around the world are seeking to challenge the dominance of major tech companies. Japan’s initiative joins recent efforts by other nations to curb the power of these platforms and create a more inclusive and competitive app market.

While Apple and Google have yet to comment on the specifics of Japan’s plans, industry experts anticipate that this move will have a significant impact on the app ecosystem, potentially leading to a diversification of app distribution models and a shift in the balance of power.

The Japanese government’s commitment to breaking the stronghold of Apple and Google showcases its determination to champion fair competition and consumer interests. As the proposed measures progress, Japan will be closely watched by both the tech industry and regulatory bodies worldwide, as the outcome could shape future policies aimed at promoting competition in the digital marketplace.

Apple and Google have been under investigation by CMA 

The Competition and Markets Authority, the competition regulator in the UK, has launched a market investigation into cloud gaming and mobile browsers after receiving widespread support for its proposals, first published in June 2022.

The Competition and Markets Authority consulted on launching a market investigation alongside its Mobile Ecosystem Market Study report, which found that Apple and Google have an effective duopoly on mobile ecosystems that allows them to exercise a stranglehold over operating systems, app stores, and web browsers on mobile devices.

During the investigation of the Activision Blizzard acquisition by Microsoft, Microsoft’s submission revealed the plans to open an Xbox mobile gaming store which was planned for earlier this year but the investigations put a hold on the plan.

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