Manipulation of Search Results May Violate Antitrust Law: Japan FTC

Politics

Tokyo, Oct. 31 (Jiji Press)--Japan's Fair Trade Commission said in a survey report Thursday that online shopping site operators' practice of allowing products of the firms or affiliates to rank high by manipulating results of individual users' internet searches could be in violation of the antimonopoly law.

The antitrust watchdog will notify shopping site operators of such possibility in order to promote the development of fair competitive environments.

The FTC survey on online shopping and smartphone app sales was part of the government's moves to toughen regulations on information technology giants.

The government plans to submit a bill to promote the transparency in transactions involving IT giants to next year's ordinary session of the Diet, Japan's parliament. The FTC survey results will be reflected in the bill.

Firms such as e-commerce giant Amazon.com and app providers Google and Apple could have superior power to companies using their services on the back of their overwhelming market shares. The report quoted one user company saying that it cannot help using major online shopping sites even if it has something to complain about, because they can attract many customers.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press