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Japan takes aim at Apple and Google, bans app store operators from imposing payment systems on developers

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A government panel in Japan has announced plans to improve competition in the smartphone app payments market, currently dominated by Apple and Google. To achieve this, major app store operators will be prohibited from forcing software developers to use the operators’ proprietary payment systems, Reuters reported.

According to Reuters, in its final report published recently on Friday, the government panel recommended that prominent smartphone operating system (OS) providers should be mandated to provide users with secure alternatives to download apps, rather than relying completely on their own app stores.

The Japanese mobile OS market is mainly divided between Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android, both of which have significant market shares. Apple exclusively allows users to download iPhone apps only from its own app store, but Apple and Google mandate software developers to use their respective payment systems, which charge commissions of up to 30%.

According to the report, the government will examine the necessary legislative actions, and there are plans to submit a relevant bill to parliament as early as next year, as reported by the Asahi Shimbun daily on Saturday.

The panel is made up of prominent individuals such as Industry Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura and Economy Minister Shigeyuki Goto.

Meanwhile, Apple has teamed up with Google to address the issue of unauthorized use of Bluetooth tracking devices like AirTags to stalk people without their permission. Together, the tech giants are taking steps to prevent this type of behavior and ensure the safety and privacy of individuals.

Last month, Apple and Google released a proposal to establish standards aimed at preventing the misuse of Bluetooth tracking devices like the Apple AirTag and other similar technology gadgets for unwanted tracking and stalking. Samsung, Tile, Chipolo, and Pebblebee—producers of other popular tracker brands—have also endorsed the proposal, according to a joint press release from the companies.

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Updated: 17 June 2023, 05:03 PM IST

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