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Apple investigated by Japanese regulator for pressuring competitor

Apple investigated by Japanese regulator for pressuring competitor
Japan’s Fair Trade Commission is looking into a case about alleged attempts by Apple to hinder the development of Yahoo Japan’s online game portal, called Game Plus. The portal is competing with Apple’s App Store by allowing users to play games without downloading any apps.

The Game Plus services are web-based and the gaming experience is provided via direct streaming from the developer’s servers. This allows users to completely bypass the App Store, meaning Apple is losing potential revenue. The platform has over 60 million active users (almost half of the country's population), but last year Yahoo Japan reduced its budget significantly and has cut on marketing expenses. Despite that, the developers are continuing to add new games.

The Commission is also working on another Apple case. In it, the Regulator is investigating if the company violated antitrust laws by requiring that Japanese carriers sell iPhones for lower initial price but higher monthly payments. According to the FTC this practice denies users a fair choice by misrepresenting the overall price of the device.

Fair or not, whatever Apple is doing in Japan seems to be paying off, the company has almost 70% of the mobile market in the Asian country, according to GlobalStats, which is the highest percentage globally.

source: Reuters

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