Apple faces competition probe in Japan

16 AUG 2018

Authorities in Japan are investigating allegations Apple pressured Yahoo Japan to slow development of its online games platform, which competes with the App Store, Nikkei Asian Review reported.

Yahoo Japan reportedly informed the country’s Fair Trade Commission and the relevant government ministry about the interference and possible anticompetitive behaviour by the US-based smartphone giant in 2017. Yahoo Japan generates some revenue through sales in the App Store.

The company’s web-based Game Plus service, which enables games to be streamed without using apps, launched in July 2017. But Yahoo Japan later suddenly cut the budget for the platform and almost ended promotions for the service, the newspaper said.

Yahoo Japan informed some business partners it cut back on developing and promoting the platform because of pressure from Apple.

SoftBank Group, which holds a majority interest in Yahoo Japan, is mediating an agreement between the two companies, a source told Nikkei Asian Review. SoftBank’s mobile unit in Japan also earns revenue when its subscribers make purchases on the App Store.

Author

Joseph Waring

Joseph Waring joins Mobile World Live as the Asia editor for its new Asia channel. Before joining the GSMA, Joseph was group editor for Telecom Asia for more than ten years. In addition to writing features, news and blogs, he...

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