Apple may soon have to allow third-party app stores in Japan too

After European legislation forced Apple to allow third-party app stores across 27 countries, Japan is planning to introduce a similar legal requirement.

The antitrust legislation is currently being debated in the Japanese parliament, but is expected to be approved by the end of June …

Third-party app stores requirement

Europe’s Digital Markets Act (DMA) antitrust law imposed a number of changes on companies who were deemed to be using their market dominance in an anti-competitive manner. Apple was one of the companies affected, with a ruling that its monopoly on the sale of iPhone apps was unlawful.

The company was required to allow third-party app stores to sell iPhone apps, and has so far responded in a manner which has been described as “malicious compliance” and which is under investigation for possible non-compliance.

Japan working on a similar law

Japan Times reports that similar legislation is currently being debated in the Japanese parliament, and would apply to both Apple and Google.

A bill submitted by the administration of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida would compel the dominant platforms to allow third parties to launch their own app markets and to offer more payment options, while banning the technology giants from giving preferential treatment to their own products […]

The bill is currently being deliberated in parliament and will likely clear both chambers during the ongoing session, which ends next month.

Japanese developers say that competition between app stores would allow them to retain more of the revenue generated by apps, as well as to offer lower prices to consumers.

9to5Mac’s Take

This is just the latest example of a growing movement around the world to increase competition in app sales, and to prevent Apple and Google from giving their own apps an unfair advantage over third-party ones.

Apple is fighting a DOJ lawsuit in the US covering much of the same ground, and facing similar investigations and legislation in a number of countries around the world.

We’ve argued before that the company is going to spend an ever-increasing amount of time in courtrooms around the world in a bid to fend off the inevitable, and would be better off simply placing its faith in its customers.

Photo by Su San Lee on Unsplash

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Ben Lovejoy