The Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) is investigating Google for potential violations of Japan’s Antimonopoly Act in the realm of web search services. This follows similar investigations by antitrust regulators in the European Union, the United States, and other major economies.
The JFTC is specifically looking into whether Google:
# Coerced Android smartphone manufacturers into agreements that prohibited the installation of rival search engines
# Required Android phone manufacturers to install the “Google Search” and “Google Chrome” browser applications in conjunction with the “Google Play” app.
The JFTC is concerned that these practices may be excluding competitors and restricting business activity in the search services market.
The investigation is still ongoing, and it is unclear what the outcome will be. However, if Google is found to have violated antitrust laws, it could face significant fines and other penalties, Reuters news report said.
The investigation also has the potential to impact the way Google operates in Japan and worldwide. If the JFTC finds that Google’s practices are anticompetitive, Google may be forced to change its business practices or divest some of its assets.
This is an important development for the tech industry, as it shows that regulators are increasingly willing to scrutinize the practices of dominant tech companies. The outcome of the JFTC’s investigation could have a significant impact on how Google and other tech companies operate in the future.