On Thursday, August 16, 2018, Apple was probed in Japan for anti-competitive practices against Yahoo game platform. Apple has been accused of applying pressure to prevent publishers from working with Yahoo’s Game Plus Platform. As per Japanese Media , the Fair Trade Commission (FTC) is investigating these antitrust allegations.
In July 2017, Yahoo Japan came up with the Game Plus platform allowing the users to stream games online without needing to download them. Also, it benefitted the developers with fewer restrictions regarding sales, fees, and updates in comparison to the Apple App Store. This platform gained the interest of a number of companies with some big names on the list as Square Enix Holdings and many more.
Apple, who recently became $1 Trillion company, took this Game Plus Model as a direct threat to their App Store. It started pressurizing the companies to back away from Yahoo. It even got some of them off from the list. Apple apparently believed that the deal of Yahoo with around 50 big organizations can damage App Store’s business and thus tried its money and power to put pressure on them.
Apple pressure on Yahoo to quash the Game Plus Platform slashed its budget in September 2017. After the organizations started withdrawing from the platform, Yahoo has now stopped promoting its services. Yahoo has been reporting these issues to Fair Trade Commission and industry ministry from the last autumn and now they are investigating the matter.
Going through Antitrust allegations isn’t new to Apple. Its Universal compatibility violation is the latest on the plate. Its Irish tax bill and Qualcomm antitrust battle are also leading the list. Apple hasn’t responded to any of this accusation of Yahoo. A spokesman at Yahoo Japan said that they are adding game titles on the website. Let’s wait for Apple to comment on the matter and see where this fight goes in future.