Japan is expected to introduce new rules that will force Apple and Google to open up their smartphone operating systems to app downloads from external sources as well as third-party billing systems for in-app purchases, Japanese news outlet The Asahi Shimbun reported on June 17. These new rules were proposed by a government panel named Headquarters for Digital Market Competition, which on June 16 released its report assessing the current state of competition in the smartphone market. The Japanese government intends to submit the new legislation to the parliament early next year, the news report stated. Why does this matter: Japan joins a growing list of countries that are forcing Apple and Google to open up their ecosystems to more competition. The EU has passed the Digital Services Act (DSA) and Digital Markets Act (DMA), South Korea has amended its existing laws, the US is considering new regulations, and India's competition regulator has ordered changes to Google Play and Android — all to this effect. While Apple and Google have been making changes to comply with these regulatory developments, they are yet to make any significant overhauls and are still trying to find workarounds wherever they can, but given the regulatory pressure from around the globe, sooner or later, Apple and Google will have to institute major changes to their operating systems. What rules is Japan considering: As per The Asahi Shimbun, the proposed rules will cover: Sideloading and third-party app stores: Apple and Google will be required to allow purchases of…
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