Google Case Expands to Asia, Future of Internet Changes Tech – 6 hours ago

Jakarta, CNBC Indonesia – Japan’s competition watchdog said it had begun investigating Google for possible violations of antitrust laws in its web search service.

These steps are similar to those taken by authorities in Europe and other major countries.

Japan’s Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) said it was investigating whether Google violated Japan’s Antimonopoly Law by sharing some of its revenue with Android smartphone makers on the condition that they not install rival search engines.

They also studied Google’s practice of forcing Android smartphone makers to install the Google Search and Google Chrome browser applications with the Google Play application.

“There are suspicions that through these measures they exclude the business activities of competitors and limit the business activities of their business partners in the search services market,” said a JFTC official, quoted from ReutersTuesday (24/10/2023).

The official said the problem was not because Google services were widely used, but about unfair competition.

“We have launched this investigation to investigate whether there is a situation where other search engine providers’ services are difficult to recognize as users’ choice, no matter how many improvements have been made,” he stressed.

The decision follows similar investigations by antitrust regulators in the European Union, United States and other countries.

Google Sued in the United States

The US Department of Justice previously accused Alphabet’s Google of paying US$10 billion (Rp. 153 trillion) a year to device makers like Apple, wireless companies like AT&T, and browser makers like Mozilla to keep its search engine market share at around 90%.

Google’s search engine is a key part of its business, driving advertising sales and other areas of profit for the world’s fourth most valuable company.

“This case is about the future of the internet,” said Kenneth Dintzer, arguing to the Justice Department that Google began maintaining its monopoly illegally in 2010.

But Google attorney John Schmidtlein said the payments compensate partners for efforts to ensure that software gets timely security updates and other maintenance.

“Today’s users have more search engine choices and more ways to access information online than ever before,” added Schmidtlein.

He continued, Google won a competition held by Apple and Mozilla to choose the best search engine.

Consumers who are dissatisfied with using Google, according to Schmidtlein, only need “a few simple clicks” to replace the Google app from their devices or call up Microsoft’s Bing, Yahoo or DuckDuckGo in the browser to use an alternative search engine.

[Gambas:Video CNBC]

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