Japan began to implement a law that regulates tech giants such as Google. NHK reported that the government is targeting IT companies that are in a superior position to their counterparts in order to prevent unfair trade.
IT companies will crack down on the behavior of signing contracts in favor of companies. As well as unilaterally raising fees based on their position.
Those subject to regulation are operating businesses such as Japanese sales sites worth more than 300 billion yen ($2.8 billion). While smartphone app stores worth more than 200 billion yen.
These ‘tech giants’ include online shopping operators Rakuten, Yahoo Japan, Amazon Japan, Google, and Apple.
According to the regulations, tech giants companies are required to disclose the terms of the contract to their customers in an easy-to-know form. And prior notification is mandatory when changing the contract.
Failure to comply could result in the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry issuing recommendations or order to take action and request the Fair Trade Commission to respond if suspected of violating the anti-trust law.
IT companies will have to conduct self-evaluations such as information disclosure and submit reports to the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry every year.
NHK said that the influence of tech giants companies has grown. Therefore regulatory moves have started in the EU and other countries. And Japan has also strengthened its surveillance with the implementation of regulatory laws.
In the U.S., Google and Facebook are also moving to file complaints. They stated that they are using their exclusive status to prevent fair competition.
According to a survey conducted by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Industry and Energy in 2018, 80% of 2,000 companies that do business with tech giants companies said they were disadvantaged due to unilateral changes in regulations.
“We are also trying to review various policies in various ways and abide by the law,” Rakuten represetntative said. “We are explaining the change of the protocol with a notice period in advance. But we will continue to talk seriously with the companies and understand each other.”
Yahoo Japan explained, “We have clarified the criteria for screening businesses that want to enter the shopping mall and also detailed how to determine the ranking of the search results at the shopping mall.”
“We are communicating with the government on various issues,” they said. “We will deal appropriately with this regulatory law.”