Apple faces antitrust probe in Japan over iPhone software

"The antitrust watchdog will compile a report outlining OS market structure and the reason why competition has remained static."

What you need to know

  • Apple is facing another antitrust probe, this time in Japan.
  • The FTC is investigating Apple and Google's dominance of the smartphone operating system market.
  • It's over claims both users their dominance in the market to eliminate competition and limit options for consumers.

Apple faces yet another antitrust probe into its iOS operating system on devices like the iPhone 13, this time in Japan.

Nikkei Asia reports:

Japan's Fair Trade Commission will investigate whether Apple and Google are leveraging their dominance in the smartphone operating system market to eliminate competition and severely limit options for consumers.

The study will involve interviews and surveys with OS operators, app developers, and smartphone users, commission Secretary-General Shuichi Sugahisa told reporters Wednesday. The initiative will explore market conditions not only for smartphones but for smartwatches and other wearables.

The FTC is set to compile a report as to why competition in the OS market remains static, including itemized anticompetitive behavior and any possible breaches of Japan's anti-monopoly laws. According to the report, iOS commands a 70% share of the smartphone market in Japan, with Google and Android taking the other 30%.

It is one of a number of antitrust battles Apple faces in multiple geographies. A recent report indicates the EU is set to charge Apple over anti-competitive practices relating to Apple Pay. From a Wednesday report:

A new report indicates an EU investigation into Apple Pay on devices like the iPhone 13 will see Apple charged with anti-competitive practices.

From Reuters:

EU antitrust regulators are set to charge Apple with anti-competitive practices related to its NFC chip technology, people familiar with the matter said, a move that could force the iPhone maker to open up its mobile payment system to rivals.

The EU is reportedly drafting a statement of objections that will be sent to Apple next year.

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