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Apple and Google won’t be able to stop third-party app stores in Japan

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Apple and Google have already been named “designated providers” and will be impacted by the law. | Photo by Beata Zawrzel / NurPhoto via Getty Images

Following in the footsteps of the European Union, Japan has now passed a law that will restrict Apple and Google from blocking third-party app stores for Japanese users on their platforms. The legislation is expected to come into force by the end of 2025 and aims to reduce app prices and create a more equitable market by forcing the tech giants to compete with smaller challengers.

Dubbed the Act on Promotion of Competition for Specified Smartphone Software, Japan’s law shares some similarities with the EU’s Digital Markets Act (DMA), enforcing strict rules against “designated providers.” That includes requiring their platforms to allow third-party app stores, allowing app developers to offer third-party billing services, and making it…

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