Airbnb antitrust case shows Japanese regulators are grasping the nettle of Internet platform issues

5 November 2018 10:55am
The closure of a Japanese antitrust investigation of home-sharing platform Airbnb last month provided a clear demonstration of the country's intensifying clampdown on anticompetitive conduct by global Internet platforms.

The conclusion of the competition regulator's probe, part of a government-wide effort to rein in platform companies, comes as "disruptive" businesses attempt to navigate a rapidly changing regulatory environment.

The Japan Fair Trade Commission said in early October that it was ending its probe of Airbnb Ireland UC, and the company's local operation, Airbnb Japan, after the home-sharing platform offered to waive its rights to enforce restrictive clauses in contracts.

By Sachiko Sakamaki and Toko Sekiguchi.