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Japan FTC cites examples of illegal cloud service practices

  • June 28, 2022
  • , Jiji Press , 9:30 p.m.
  • English Press

Tokyo, June 28 (Jiji Press)–Japan’s Fair Trade Commission on Tuesday cited examples of practices by cloud service providers that may be deemed as violations of the antimonopoly law.

If service providers with an advantage over users, such as technology giants, unilaterally change the terms of service, such as by raising prices, and users suffer harm unfairly, it could amount to abuse of their superior bargaining position, the antimonopoly watchdog said.

In a report on its survey on cloud services, the FTC also said that unauthorized use of customers’ confidential data for the service providers’ own operations competing with those of the customers could be taken as interference in a competitor’s transaction.

In the year that ended in March 2021, U.S. digital giants Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google LLC had a combined share of 60 to 70 pct in Japan’s cloud services market, according to the FTC.

While there is some competition in the market, difficulties switching services may give more power to these market leaders and reduce competition, thus potentially causing problems in the future, the FTC said.

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