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[Discussion] Opening Up the Market: Japan's New Law on Third-Party App Stores

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In a landmark decision, Japan has passed a new law that will significantly alter the digital marketplace landscape. The Smartphone Software Competition Promotion Act, akin to the European Union's Digital Markets Act (DMA), mandates that tech behemoths like Apple and Google cannot prevent third-party app stores from operating on their platforms.

A Shift Towards Fair Competition

This move by Japan's parliament is designed to foster a more competitive environment, breaking the duopoly that these tech giants have long maintained. Under the new law, companies will be required to allow third-party app stores and payment systems, giving consumers and developers more choices. This could lead to a reduction in app prices and a spur in innovation, as new players enter the market.

Implications for Tech Giants

The implications of this law for companies like Apple and Google are profound. They will need to adjust their business models and platform policies to comply with the new regulations. Non-compliance could result in hefty fines, up to 20% of the domestic revenue of the specific service that violated the law, which could increase to 30% if the behavior persists. This law is a clear message from Japan's government that it is committed to ensuring fair play in the digital space.

In conclusion, Japan's new law is a significant step towards opening up the digital market and ensuring fair competition. It aligns with global trends where regulators are increasingly scrutinizing the practices of tech giants to protect consumers and promote innovation. As the law comes into effect, it will be interesting to see how it reshapes the digital ecosystem in Japan and potentially sets a precedent for other nations to follow.

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