Japan Joins Forces With US & EU To Legislate Big Tech

Japan is teaming up with the US and Europe to develop tough new regulations to take on big tech, according to a Reuters report on Monday, October 19.

Kazuyuki Furuya, new chairman of Japan’s Fair Trade Commission (JFTC), said Tokyo could launch an investigation on any big deals or collaborations with Fitbit fitness tracker maker.

“If the size of any merger or business-tie up is big, we can launch an anti-monopoly investigation into the buyer’s process of acquiring a startup (like Fitbit),” Furuya told Reuters. “We’re closely watching developments including in Europe.”

EU antitrust regulators in August started probing a US$2.1 billion acquisition deal for Google to buy Fitbit. Furuya added that Japan will align closely with the US and Europe, “and respond to any moves that hamper competition. This is an area I will push through aggressively,” he said.

The big tech giants Google, Apple, Amazon, and Facebook, also known by the acronym “GAFA,” are facing numerous antitrust investigations from the west.

Global collaboration is important, Furuya said, since GAFA and other tech platforms have similar business practices worldwide.

Furuya also told Reuters that the JFTC would analyze Japan’s mobile phone market to find ways that could increase competition, which could help cut Japan’s mobile phone charges.