Apple Facing Investigation in Japan Over Accusations of Anti-Competitive Behavior

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Japan's Fair Trade Commission is investigating allegations that Apple pressured Yahoo Japan into pulling back from its Game Plus platform in the country, reports Nikkei.

Yahoo last fall submitted complaints about its Game Plus platform, a web-based service first launched in July 2017. Game Plus is designed to let users play games without needing to download a full app.


52 companies were participating in Games Plus at launch, according to Nikkei, including major game makers like Square Enix, and Yahoo initially planned to expand the platform into other areas, like business software.

Yahoo cut its Game Plus budget last year and pulled back on promotions for the service. According to Yahoo, it did so because of "pressure behind the scenes from Apple." Such a platform competes with the App Store, where Yahoo also offers apps for sale.

Japan's Fair Trade Commission is said to be gathering information on the situation, which it says "may constitute interference in Yahoo's business prohibited by the Anti-Monopoly Act."

Nikkei says it's unclear how the investigation will proceed, as Japanese investment company SoftBank, a major Yahoo shareholder has stepped in to mediate. Companies also often hesitate to work with authorities, according to an attorney that spoke to Nikkei, which can make it difficult to prove wrongdoing.

Tag: Japan

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26 months ago
We've gone full circle.

Early mobile devices started out underspecced and not being able to render web sites properly then came about apps as helpers to display the web site in a simplified view. Now, devices are sufficiently powerful enough and mobile Chrome browser near parity with desktop version that the industry is shifting back to web apps with things like Android Go and web apps like code.org ('http://code.org').

I can see why companies that profit from locking down users to only their app store that take a % from sales and from expensive storage tiers would be very reluctant to adopt an open web app ecosystem without the need for local storage tiers.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
26 months ago

I doubt it is even true, and yahoo is frankly responsible for years of managerial missteps going all the way back to Jerry Yang’s idiotic refusal of a Microsoft buyout.

Yahoo! is a malware company as far as I'm concerned, with both the Yahoo!-branded browser hijackers and the other malware that puts Yahoo! links everywhere on Windows PCs, which they must somehow be funding. Wouldn't be surprised if their iPhone app were malicious. Their stuff should be banned from every store.

If it were any company besides Yahoo! making these accusations, I might kinda believe them.

Yahoo! Japan was a separate company from Yahoo! They were separate companies with separate management teams. They shared the Yahoo! name and Yahoo! had a minority equity stake in Yahoo! Japan, but they were separate companies.

And I say "was/were/had" because Yahoo! doesn't even exist anymore. The old Yahoo! core assets are now part of Verizon and the non-core assets (including the Yahoo! Japan minority equity stake) are now part of the investment holding company Altaba.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
26 months ago

('https://www.macrumors.com/2018/08/15/apple-japan-anti-competitive-investigation/')


Japan's Fair Trade Commission is investigating allegations that Apple pressured Yahoo Japan into pulling back from its Game Plus platform in the country, reports Nikkei ('https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Companies/Apple-probed-in-Japan-over-anti-competitive-behavior').

Yahoo last fall submitted complaints about its Game Plus platform, a web-based service first launched in July 2017. Game Plus is designed to let users play games without needing to download a full app.



52 companies were participating in Games Plus at launch, according to Nikkei, including major game makers like Square Enix, and Yahoo initially planned to expand the platform into other areas, like business software.

Yahoo cut its Game Plus budget last year and pulled back on promotions for the service. According to Yahoo, it did so because of "pressure behind the scenes from Apple." Such a platform competes with the App Store, where Yahoo also offers apps for sale.

Japan's Fair Trade Commission is said to be gathering information on the situation, which it says "may constitute interference in Yahoo's business prohibited by the Anti-Monopoly Act."

Nikkei says it's unclear how the investigation will proceed, as Japanese investment company SoftBank, a major Yahoo shareholder has stepped in to mediate. Companies also often hesitate to work with authorities, according to an attorney that spoke to Nikkei, which can make it difficult to prove wrongdoing.

Article Link: Apple Facing Investigation in Japan Over Accusations of Anti-Competitive Behavior ('https://www.macrumors.com/2018/08/15/apple-japan-anti-competitive-investigation/')

That’s the kind of BS I don’t like from conglomerates like Apple and such unfair practices...so Apple isn’t a “saint” after all...
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
26 months ago

It forbids them from offering apps for the iPhone, so yes, it definitely contributed.

If their entire business plan was to break Apple App Store guidelines they deserve to fail.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
26 months ago

We've gone full circle.

Early mobile devices started out underspecced and not being able to render web sites properly then came about apps as helpers to display the web site in a simplified view. Now, devices are sufficiently powerful enough and mobile Chrome browser near parity with desktop version that the industry is shifting back to web apps with things like Android Go and web apps like code.org ('http://code.org').

I can see why companies that profit from locking down users to only their app store that take a % from sales and from expensive storage tiers would be very reluctant to adopt an open web app ecosystem without the need for local storage tiers.

That’s what makes this so interesting for me, Steve Jobs originally wanted web apps, and when it wasn’t working they switched. It looks like Apple got mad at them for doing what Apple originally wanted the iPhone to be.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
26 months ago
[Edit: I didn't know Yahoo! Japan was a separate company from Yahoo!]

Yahoo! is a malware company as far as I'm concerned, with both the Yahoo!-branded browser hijackers and the other malware that puts Yahoo! links everywhere on Windows PCs, which they must somehow be funding. Wouldn't be surprised if their iPhone app were malicious. Their stuff should be banned from every store.

If it were any company besides Yahoo! making these accusations, I might kinda believe them.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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