Business

To protect sellers, government working group eyes stricter regulations for tech giants

Kyodo

A government working group is set to call for placing stricter regulations on technology giants such as Amazon.com and Google LLC to prevent them from taking advantage of vendors, sources with knowledge of the matter said Saturday.

In a report to be submitted to the government, emphasizing the need to better protect small businesses who sell their products on online marketplaces, the group of experts suggests drafting a law to enable authorities to reprimand and fine platform operators if they make unreasonable demands and violate rules.

The envisioned law will require tech firms to publicly disclose contracts with vendors and by so doing ensure sellers that are wronged have a means of recourse.

A working group, formed by the industry ministry, the internal affairs ministry and the Japan Fair Trade Commission, will explain a set of proposals in the interim report to a government panel on Wednesday.

The government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is also seeking regulations for the protection of information privacy, and on mergers and acquisitions, by platform operators.

Japanese officials are looking into whether an existing law can be used to penalize those operators who mishandle personal data collected from users.

Firms such as Amazon.com and Google have thrived by using such data to tailor their services to individuals, but have fanned concerns over a loss of privacy.

Also in the making are guidelines aimed at protecting the domestic tech industry by regulating corporate acquisitions by foreign tech firms.

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