The government of Japan is in the process to set up a structure to keep a track on the activity of the international tech giants. According to a source, the government will keep a close watch on tech firms that operate with big data. The development is focused on promoting healthy competition as well as to ensure that users and small businesses are secure by the huge concentration of information.
The Japanese government is mulling to set up a structure that could oversight the activity. The infrastructure is expected to be placed by 2020 under the recommendations of the expert panel. The watchdog thus set up will oversee the activity of platform operators such as Google and Amazon.com to identify issues and recommend any possible legislative or other solutions. The framework for the watchdog will be established by the government by 2019 summer.
The big data and artificial intelligence are used by platform operators to power e-commerce, search engines, and other different services. This benefits many firms and users but also raises concerns for healthy competition as smaller firms should take a step to slash prices to stay in the competition.
Before setting up the watchdog, the Japan FairTrade Commission will carry out a survey in January on the information technology industry. The survey will look for illegal business contracts and practices. Through the survey, the commission will try and find out if firms affected by such problems are willing to cooperate over the privacy obligation. The commission will most probably invoke the anti-monopoly law, which will require making a complete industry to submit the requested information.
According to an expert panel’s report, it is vital to take a stern action against the concentration of data by a few platforms. The commission has plans to take into account data consolidation in its antitrust reviews of acquisitions as well as mergers.
The government will consider all international tech companies in that. This means that American tech firms will not be the only one under the supervision. Tech firms from China such as Alibaba Group Holding will also fall in the scrutiny of the watchdog. The report noted that the closed nature of the Chinese large data market has promoted the growth of powerful platform operators.
The report has emphasized the need to solve the issue in the international level to ensure fair competition. The enhanced scrutiny will aim at doing away with reported data collected by China-based tech firms on behalf of Beijing.
The decision of the government of Japan to tighten the regulation follows a crack down on the US tech companies by the European authorities. Earlier in 2018, the European Union issued a $5 billion ant-trust fine to search engine giant Google accusing it of deploying the Android system’s massive population to market its search engine and shut out rivals. Google has appealed against the fine arguing that the accusation by the EU is baseless. There are many firms like Google that face such accusation and are expected to be uncovered by the Japanese watchdog.