Japanese IT Industry Groups Support Bill to Promote Smartphone Software Competition

In a rare move, seven IT-related industry groups in Japan have banded together to support a new bill aimed at promoting competition in the smartphone software market. The bill specifically targets dominant tech giants Apple and Google, who control the operating system and app markets. The groups, which represent over 550 companies, argue that the tech giants’ prioritization of their own interests through an “oligopoly” is imposing excessive burdens on app companies. They are calling for new rules to be introduced to manage the situation and promote technological innovation.

The joint statement was released on Friday by groups including the Mobile Content Forum, the Computer Entertainment Supplier’s Association, and the Information Technology Federation of Japan. The groups largely comprise companies involved in app distribution, game development, and software development. This coming together of industry groups is a potent statement against the dominance of Apple and Google and underscores the growing concern in Japan about the global tech sector.

Japan’s tech companies have struggled to keep pace with U.S. rivals, leading to calls for increased innovation and competition in the sector. These groups’ criticism of Google and Apple is notable, as it shines a light on the problems faced by smaller companies that struggle to compete with the tech giants’ sheer scale and power.

The bill, which is currently being considered by the Diet, includes provisions that would allow other companies to open app stores and prohibit unfair treatment of app distribution companies. The executive of an app industry association stated that the statement was released to convey the industry’s views to the public and lawmakers, given the pressing need for new rules to manage the tech giants’ dominance and promote innovation.

It should be noted that the situation in Japan is not unique, and governments worldwide are grappling with how best to regulate the tech sector. There are growing concerns about tech giants’ control over the marketplace, which can lead to reduced competition, decreased innovation, and potential antitrust violations.

This joint statement from the Japanese industry groups is an example of how companies can come together to push back against tech giants’ dominance. By presenting a united front, smaller companies can lobby for more equitable treatment and a better regulatory environment that will promote innovation and ensure fair competition. As the world continues to navigate the complexities of the tech landscape, it is clear that the actions of these industry groups in Japan are being closely watched and could serve as a blueprint for other countries and industries worldwide


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