Japan’s METI: Apple and Google practices hamper smartphone app competition

A report by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) — as noted by Nikkei — says Apple and Google engage in practices that undermine competition in the smartphone app market by making the most of their control over distribution channels.

The report looked at how these two firms, and others, use their positions of power to decide what app developers can and can’t do. Restricting what payment methods developers can accept and limiting their pricing freedom may not directly violate Japan's anti-monopoly law, but these practices lead to elimination of competitors, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry argues. A study group established at the ministry in January compiled the report by incorporating a survey of app developers that was conducted jointly with the Japan Fair Trade Commission.

METI (whose headquarters is pictured), is a ministry of the Government of Japan. It has jurisdiction over a broad policy area, containing Japan's industrial/trade policies, energy security, control of arms exports, and more.