Japan seeks to tighten regulations on Google, other global IT giants

Source: Xinhua| 2019-03-20 19:02:19|Editor: xuxin
Video PlayerClose

TOKYO, March 20 (Xinhua) -- Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) on Wednesday quizzed a Google LLC executive over the firm's data protection and other procedural protocols as the government sets about clamping down on regulations for global IT companies operating here.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's ruling LDP will also question Facebook Inc. on Friday to gauge whether, along with the likes of Apple Inc. and Amazon.com Inc., the company may be in breach of antitrust laws.

"We need to compile transparent and fair rules to remove the negative impact while promoting technological innovation at the same time," LDP policy chief Fumio Kishida said at the start of the meeting with the executive from Google's U.S. headquarters.

The government is concerned that the companies in question may be collecting customers' personal data without consent and concealing the ways in which they use the information.

The LDP's Research Commission on Market Competitiveness Policy panel has already held talks with Apple and Amazon Japan officials and will make recommendations on the issue in April.

A probe was launched in February by the Japan Fair Trade Commission to see if the IT companies are in breach of the antimonopoly law by, for example, exerting undue pressure on vendors to implement and finance their schemes without being able to negotiate terms.

Amazon.com, to this point, allegedly forced all its vendors to adopt a customer loyalty scheme, with no opt-out option for sellers, with the vendors themselves having to pay for the strategy.

Amazon Japan meanwhile is planning to introduce a cookie-cutter version of the scheme, but may find it breaching Japan's antimonopoly law by abusing its authority over a counterpart.

A cross-ministry task force, with support from Japan's antitrust watchdog, is working towards establishing new rules to ensure better transparency in transactions tacking place between companies and the global IT behemoths.