Japan Enacts Law to Mandate Third-Party App Stores, and You’ll Never Guess Which Devices Aren’t Included

Kyodo News:

Japan’s parliament enacted Wednesday a law to promote competition in smartphone app stores by restricting tech giants Apple Inc. and Google LLC from limiting third-party companies from selling and operating apps on their platforms.

The law will prohibit the providers of Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android smartphone operating systems, app stores and payment platforms from preventing the sale of apps and services that directly compete with the native platforms’ own.

Laws like this are protectionist attacks that specifically target two U.S. companies — Apple and Google. The United States should treat this as a trade war, and reciprocate by passing legislation mandating third-party game stores and payments on game consoles from Sony and Nintendo. See how they like it. It’s patently hypocritical that Japan’s law targets only phones; this law wouldn’t exist if Sony were a player in phones and mobile platforms.

Violations of the new law will bring a penalty of 20 percent of the domestic revenue of the service found to have breached the rules. The fine can increase to 30 percent if the companies do not cease the anticompetitive practices.

Unlike the EU, which believes it can assess fines comprising a hefty percentage of companies’ worldwide revenue (which, in the case of the DMA, I doubt they’ll ever collect), Japan, quite reasonably, only assesses fines on companies’ Japanese revenue.

Saturday, 15 June 2024