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G-7 to cooperate in regulating IT giants to protect competition

  • June 6, 2019
  • , Kyodo News , 2:02 p.m.
  • English Press

TOKYO — Group of Seven nations will work together to beef up the regulation of global information technology giants criticized for taking advantage of smaller companies by restricting entry to the market, Japanese government sources said Thursday.


Antitrust regulators from G-7 member nations agreed on the need to cooperate on oversight and to crack down on violations as powerful IT companies expand operations globally through mergers and acquisitions, the sources said.


The agenda will be discussed at the G-7 summit meeting in August in France, to be attended by leaders of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States, plus the European Union.


They have also confirmed they will share the results of independent investigations into the companies as well as know-how on ways to deal with violations, the sources said.


The outcomes of discussions may be reported at a meeting of G-7 finance ministers and central bank governors in July, the sources said, and the agreement could be included in a declaration from the G-7 summit.


The move comes as U.S. tech giants including Google LLC and Inc. are facing growing criticism that they are preventing newcomers from entering the market by monopolizing customer data through their platforms and takeovers.


Concerns have also emerged that the companies are abusing their dominant position by enforcing contract terms and rules that are disadvantageous to smaller firms, leaving them to shoulder an unfair share of costs.


The Japanese government said Wednesday it plans to submit a bill to parliament next year to regulate large global and domestic IT firms. The bill is designed to enhance transparency in business transactions.


The envisioned legislation will require Google, Apple Inc., Facebook Inc. and, collectively known as GAFA, and other such IT firms to make contract terms public, the draft says.

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