The Japanese government announced its plans to introduce new rules that will mandate Google and Apple to let developers use alternative payment systems other than theirs, in an effort to boost competition in the app payments market.
As reported by Reuters, according to a government panel’s report released last Friday, the tech giants should also be required to let smartphone users securely install apps from alternative sources other than the App Store and Google Play Store.
In addition, the government is also planning to introduce new rules that will require the companies to simplify the process of removing pre-installed apps from iPhones and Android devices.
The panel’s final report comes months after the Japan Fair Trade Commission shared the findings of its investigation into the country’s mobile OS and app distribution service market, saying that Apple and Google don’t face enough competition pressure.
Both Google and Apple have long come under regulatory pressure in various countries around the world over competition-related concerns, some of which have led the companies to roll out changes to their businesses.
Apple, for example, said in June 2022 that it would start allowing Dutch dating apps to offer alternative payment options, after being fined €50 million by the Dutch Consumers and Markets Authority (ACM).
The iPhone-maker is also expected to bring the ability to sideload apps to European users soon to comply with the requirements of the EU’s Digital Markets Act, although it didn’t introduce it with the first beta of iOS 17.
Google, meanwhile, launched its User Choice Billing program in Japan last September, which allows Android developers to offer alternative payment methods in addition to its own system. The program, which reduces the controversial in-app purchase cut by 4%, was expanded to the United States, South Africa, and Brazil in November.