Japan Enacts Legislation Mandating That Google, Apple Permit Use of Third-Party Apps

By Trisha Andrada

Jun 13, 2024 05:38 AM EDT

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Japan passed a law on Wednesday, June 12, that will penalize tech companies like Google and Apple if they do not let third-party apps and payment systems use their platforms.

According to Japan Today, this fresh set of regulations is required in Japan's market so the United States, the European Union, and Japanese online marketplaces can work together to ensure that digital platform operators face fair competition.

Forcing Tech Giants to Operate Fairly

The new legislation requires tech giants to operate fairly and make search engines, operating systems, and browsers accessible to everyone, much like the EU's new Digital Markets Act (DMA).

The law would punish non-compliant businesses severely, with penalties equal to or exceeding 20% of their sales in Japan. Fines for repeat violators may reach 30%, which is a substantial increase from prior punishments.

Apple previously claimed that the DMA would harm consumers' privacy and security, but the EU said it would promote fair competition.

Apple, Meta, and Microsoft are among the world's largest computer companies that the DMA has targeted, and they are all required to follow a set of rules.

REAd NEXT: Apple, Google, and Meta Face Potential Billion-Dollar Fines From European Commission Over Market Violations

New Legislation to Take Effect in 2025

On Wednesday, the upper chamber of the government passed the bill with no amendments. It is anticipated to be put into force by the conclusion of 2025, according to Kyodo News.

Before the voting, Chair of the House Committee on Economy and Industry Shinji Morimoto said that the measure forbids any action that would limit competition in relation to certain software.

In April, government spokesperson Yoshimasa Hayashi said that the country will work to make app stores and other software marketplaces more competitive so that consumers have more choices while still being protected.

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