Japan plans to launch antitrust review on US technology giants


Japan has also joined in the anti-monopoly investigations of technology giants in the United States and Europe.
Japan’s Fair Trade Commission announced on Monday that it would investigate the monopoly of “GAFA” (Google, apple, Facebook and Amazon).
American regulators often refer to these tech giants as “faang,” with one more Netflix than Japan. But whatever they are called, they represent the world’s top technology companies.
Like the United States and Europe, Kazuyuki Furuya, chairman of Japan’s Fair Trade Commission, seems to focus not only on internal policies and platform strategies, but also on high-priced mergers and acquisitions. He specifically mentioned Google’s $2.1 billion acquisition of Fitbit. Although the deal has been announced for nearly a year, it has still not been completed due to the lengthy review process.
U.S. regulators are concerned that Google uses Fitbit’s health data to publish precision ads and uses the technology it obtains to block competition. Similar concerns are spreading across Europe, where strict consumer privacy policies are in place.
But the search giant has backed down in the hope of calming regulators’ concerns. In addition to publicly saying that they will not use user data to publish targeted ads, they also said: “we are implementing a long-term commitment to support other Android wearable manufacturers and continue to allow Fitbit users to access third-party services through API (Application Programming Interface) if they want to.”
Japan also plans to launch a detailed investigation.
“If the size of the acquisition or business alliance is large, we may launch an antitrust investigation into the process of a buyer acquiring a start-up, such as Fitbit.” “We are following developments closely, including in Europe,” Kazuyuki Furuya told the media
Given the global trends in the wearable market, the position of the Japanese government is likely to matter.
According to a recent report released by the business research company, the Asia Pacific region will become the world’s fastest growing Smartwatch region between 2020 and 2030. The world’s largest smart watch market in 2019 is North America.
According to a report recently released by IDC, although the global economy has been hit by the new crown epidemic, the wearable market is expected to ship nearly 400 million units this year. The company expects global shipments to grow at a compound annual rate of 12.4% in five years to 637.1 million units by 2024.
Wearable devices are not the only area of concern for Kazuyuki Furuya. He will also keep a close eye on many digital businesses, especially mobile devices, which prime minister Yasu Kan has criticized as overpriced.
“We will work closely with our counterparts in the United States and Europe to deal with all acts that impede competition.” Kazuyuki Furuya explains.