TOKYO – Apple Inc. lodged a protest Tuesday following the release of a Japanese government report that indicated the possibility of regulations being introduced to ensure fair competition in the smartphone operating system market, which has been dominated by two major U.S. tech firms.
The U.S. technology giant said in a statement, “We respectfully disagree with a number of conclusions” in the government report released the same day that expressed concern over the strong influence of Apple and Alphabet Inc.’s Google LLC in the OS market.
Apple added that it is facing “intense competition in every segment” in which it operates, adding that it will continue to “engage constructively with the Japanese government.”
Meanwhile, Google said in a separate statement that it has been actively cooperating with the government, highlighting how much it has contributed to the industry, and added it will further examine the contents of the report.
In the interim report released following discussions about digital market competition, the government sees the Google and Apple internet browsing apps being preinstalled in smartphones as a problem.
The report proposed the introduction of rules to prohibit acts that prevent users making decisions and choices, as such practice could eliminate the room for competition.
The government also expressed concern over application developers paying a high fee to Apple as they can only distribute their products through the company’s store and called for allowing OS providers to allow users to select the app store of their choice.
“In order to realize fair and equal competition, we organized various issues and options,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said during the meeting.
The government will solicit opinions from the public and hold more discussions before compiling a final report.