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Japan launches antimonopoly probe into Google's search dominance

The official said the issue was not that Google's service was widely used, it was about fair competition

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Reuters Tokyo

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Japan’s competition watchdog said on Monday it has started investigating Google for a possible breach of antimonopoly laws in web search services.
 
The Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) said it was investigating whether Google violated Japan’s Antimonopoly Act by returning part of its revenue to Android smartphone makers on the condition they not install rival search engines. It is also looking into Google’s practice of making Android phone makers install its “Google Search” and “Google Chrome” browser application with the “Google Play” app. “There is suspicion that through these steps it is excluding competitors’ business activity and restricting its business partners’ business activity in the search services market,” a JFTC official said.
 
The official said the issue was not that Google’s service was widely used, it was about fair competition. “We’ve launched this probe wondering if the situation under which other search engine providers’ services have a hard time being recognised as a user’s choice, no matter how much improvement has been made, is artificially created.”

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First Published: Oct 23 2023 | 11:33 PM IST

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