October 23, 2023
Japan Fair Trade Commission
The Japan Fair Trade Commission (hereinafter referred to as the "JFTC") has opened an investigation concerning the suspected violation of the Antimonopoly Act by Google LLC, etc. (hereinafter referred to as "Google"), and decided to seek information and comments from third parties about the suspected violation in the manner described below.
This is the first time for the JFTC to seek information and comments from third parties in the early stages of the case investigation, following the policy statement “Towards the Active Promotion of Competition Policy in response to Socioeconomic Changes as represented by Digitalization - Coordination and Strengthening of Advocacy and Enforcement -” which was published in June 2022 (here).
It should be noted that the JFTC has not reached any conclusions at this stage as to whether or not the Antimonopoly Act has been violated.
1. Suspected Violation of the Antimonopoly Act Subject to Submission of Information and Comments
Google has been suspected to exclude business activities of its competitors or restrict business activities of its counterparties by
(1) entering into license agreements with Android mobile device manufacturers (hereinafter referred to as "OEMs") under which Google makes them install its applications, such as a search application named "Google Search" and a web browser application named "Google Chrome", together with its application store named "Google Play", and designates where to place icons, etc. of such applications on screens of the devices, and
(2) entering into agreements with OEMs, etc. under which Google shares its revenue from its search advertising service with them on conditions including that they do not pre-install competitors' search application.
2. Submission of Information and Comments
Please submit your information and comments in Japanese by postal mail or e-mail, identifying your name, address and contact information (telephone number and/or e-mail address). If you submit your information and comments as a corporation or an association, please identify the location of the main office, the name of a corporation or an association and the name of a liaison person.
Submitting information and comments by phone is not acceptable.
Information and comments should be as specific as possible.
< Postal mail>
Digital Platform Investigation Division,
Investigation Bureau, Japan Fair Trade Commission
1-1-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8987
(Please be informed that we cannot return your mailed items.)
< E-mail >
(Please replace "_atsign_" with "@", when you send an e-mail.)
November 22, 2023, no later than 6 p.m. (GMT+9)
Information and comments provided will be used only for the purpose of the investigation on this matter. Please note that the JFTC will not make individual responses to the information and comments.
It should be noted that the JFTC asks for your identification and contact information for the communication purpose where any clarifications may be needed on your information and comments. The information provided will not be used for any other purposes.