Much to Apple’s chagrin, Japan is considering new app store laws

Apple’s first non-US Apple Store was located in Tokyo, Japan.
Photo: Héctor Garcia/Kirai CC

The Japanese government has said it is considering new regulations to ensure fair competition among app stores amid the dominance of companies like Apple and Google. In response, Apple insisted that its practices did not limit competitors.

Japan mulls new regulations on app stores

Japanese regulators have scrutinized both Apple and Google. Officials conducted an antitrust investigation into the two companies in 2021.

And Japan’s Digital Market Competition Council recently released an interim report saying the dominance of Apple and Google may affect app developers and other businesses, according to Japan time.

The report recommends authorities consider legislation to limit the ability of Apple and Google to alter market conditions.

“It is important to ensure innovation by various entities and give consumers the ability to choose options,” said the Chief Cabinet Secretary and Chairman of the Board of Japan.

Apple responds

Apple has already responded regarding the report’s findings.

“We respectfully disagree with a number of findings [in the report]Cupertino said. The company argued that it never takes the market leadership position and faces “intense competition in every business segment” where it operates.

Apple is facing a series of antitrust investigations, lawsuits and new legislation in various parts of the world. And in the United States, there is broad support for legislation that could force Apple to open the iPhone to sideloading through third-party app stores. The company has spent record sums lobbying against such proposals.

Google said in a statement that it was cooperating with Japanese authorities and planned to further review the interim report.