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Apple in another antitrust investigation

by on16 August 2018

Gaming the gaming industry by playing monopoly

Japanese regulators are investigating the convicted monopolist Apple over the pressure it placed on Yahoo Japan to slow the expansion of its online games platform, which competes with Apple’s App Store.

The Fair Trade Commission (FTC) is looking at whether Apple interfered in Yahoo Japan’s operations by pressuring it to cut back on developing its Game Plus web-based service which enables users to stream games without downloading apps.

Apple is expected to deny the charges even if the FTC makes a ruling confirming it happened. Yahoo Japan, one of the country’s most successful internet companies, declined to comment on the report but said that the site continued to add game titles.

The FTC has its eye on Apple. Last month it said Apple could have breached antitrust rules by forcing Japanese mobile service providers to sell its iPhones cheaply and charge higher monthly fees, denying consumers a fair choice.

Game Plus offers free and fee-based games developed by Square Enix Holdings Co and other game publishers, some of which are also available on the App Store for Japan-registered users. Yahoo Japan’s gaming site has more than 60 million monthly users, which the company and game publishers can tap for usage history and other data.

According to the Nikkei, Yahoo slashed its budget for the platform last year and has largely stopped promoting the service. Meanwhile, game publisher Square Enix in April removed a game that had been developed exclusively for the site, the newspaper added.

Last modified on 16 August 2018
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