Japanese Regulators Demand Google to Fix Ad Search Restrictions Affecting Yahoo

By Thea Felicity

Apr 22, 2024 12:27 PM EDT

Inside The Tokyo Game Show 2019
CHIBA, JAPAN - SEPTEMBER 12: Attendees walk past the Google Play booth on the business day of the Tokyo Game Show 2019 at Makuhari Messe on September 12, 2019 in Chiba, Japan. The Tokyo Game Show will be open to the public on September 14 and 15, 2019.
(Photo : Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images)

Japan's antitrust watchdog has instructed Google to address its advertising search limitations impacting Yahoo in Japan, following an investigation that revealed Google's practices undermine fair competition.

Japan's antitrust watchdog has issued a directive to Google, urging the tech giant to address its advertising search limitations that impact Yahoo in Japan, per KSN News.

The Japan Fair Trade Commission underlined Google's practices as detrimental to fair competition in the advertising market after a recent investigation. The issue stems from alleged restrictions imposed by Google in its search advertising agreement with Yahoo Japan, hindering its competitiveness in targeted search ads for over seven years. 

The implication is that Google's behavior may have unfairly limited Yahoo Japan's ability to compete in the market for targeted search advertisements, potentially harming consumer choice and market competition.

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Google's Response to Japanese Regulators

Although Google has vowed to comply with the commission's directives and improve search functions for Japanese users and advertisers, Line Yahoo declined to comment on the matter. 

This won't be the first time Google caught legal action from Japan, according to Nikkei Asia. The commission's decision comes amid a civil lawsuit filed by Japanese doctors against Google. In the lawsuit, doctors alleged that Google allowed derogatory and false comments to be posted on Google Maps, causing reputational harm to the doctors. 

The doctors are seeking damages totaling 1.4 million yen ($9,400) for 63 medical professionals affected by these reviews. 

In response, Google stated that it is actively working to combat misleading or false information on its platform by employing both human moderation and technological solutions to remove fraudulent reviews.

READ MORE: Google Reveals Apple Rejected Bing As Default Search Engine Over Quality Concerns

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