JFTC 'open' to possibility of new antitrust approach for digital platforms, commissioner says

28 March 2019 00:00

Japan’s competition authority, which is in the midst of two studies into digital platforms such as Amazon, Apple and Google, is open to the idea that these markets “may require a new antitrust approach,” a commissioner said.

“They may require a new antitrust approach,” Japan Fair Trade Commissioner Reiko Aoki said of digital platforms at an event* in Washington today. “The JFTC is open to this possibility.”

The JFTC in February sent questionnaires to Amazon, Google, Apple, Japan’s Rakuten and others, seeking information on business dealings with app developers and third-party vendors. The questionnaires are one part of a government-wide effort in Japan to gain better understanding of digital platforms.

In her remarks, Aoki highlighted recent JFTC investigations into AirBnB, Amazon and Apple. In all three cases, the companies agreed to change their practices and the agency closed the probes.

*“Antitrust and Digital Platforms Around the World.” George Mason University Global Antitrust Institute. Washington, DC. March 28, 2019.

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