Apple and Google are set to face another case regarding their questionable business practices, with the Japanese government said to be preparing another antitrust probe.
Apple and Google's New Antitrust Case
Apple had been hit with multiple antitrust probes together with Google. Japan will be adding its own investigation to the pile of cases in the near future, one that will affect both Apple and Google.
A government panel will apparently launch this June to look into tightening antitrust regulations, according to Apple Insider.
Mercury News reported that the panel will apparently discuss the dealings of Apple and Google with Japanese smartphone producers, including whether they handle domestic companies fairly compared to overseas companies.
Also, it is believed that iOS and Android make up more than 90% of the smartphone market in Japan. In February, an analysis by IDC pointed out that Apple sells almost half of all the mobile phones in the country for the entirety of 2020.
The alleged Japanese probe will become the latest in a long list of similar activity by governments and regulators around the world, seeking to curtail the power of tech giants like Apple and Google.
Meanwhile, in Europe, antitrust commission chief Margrethe Vestager said on June 10 that Apple should allow alternate app stores on its platform to enable proper competition and wants legislation to be introduced forcing the issue.
Also, the United States is taking aim at massive tech companies, with House lawmakers revealing numerous bills on June 11, in response to a House Judiciary Committee report into questionable tech business practices.
The five measures included bills to make it illegal for the companies to operate a line of business that creates a conflict of interest, preventing the acquisition of rising tech rivals, and a bill to make it easier for customers to use competing platforms together and easily change between them.
Aside from the governments, Apple has also recently been dealing with a lawsuit filed by Epic Games demanding changes to the settings of the App Store and its entire policies. Other attempts at class-action antitrust lawsuits are also currently being made.
App Store Issues
In an antitrust hearing in April, the U.S Senate questioned the representatives of Google and Apple on whether they have a strict firewall or other policies in place that prevent them from leveraging the data from third-party businesses that are operating on their app stores to inform the development of their won competitive products.
Apple was especially called out for the practice of copying other apps by Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat from Connecticut, who said that the practice had become very common that it earned a name called "sherlocking."
Sherlock comes from Apple's search tool in the 2000s. The name Sherlock become shorthand for any time Apple copies an idea from a third-party developer that threatens their business, according to Tech Crunch.
Over the years, developers claimed that Google and Apple have sherlocked many apps, including Konfabulator, which are creating desktop widgets, Sandvox, which is an app for creating websites, Growl, a notification system for Mac OS X, iPodderX which is a podcast manager, and more.
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Written by Sophie Webster