Business

G7 to cooperate in regulating global tech giants to protect competition, Japan sources say

Kyodo

Group of Seven nations will work together to boost the regulation of global information technology giants as criticism mounts that they are taking advantage of smaller companies by restricting entry to the market, Japanese government sources said Thursday.

Antitrust regulators from G7 member nations have agreed on the need to cooperate on oversight and to crack down on violations as powerful tech companies expand operations globally through mergers and acquisitions, the sources said.

The issue is set to be discussed at the G7 summit meeting in August in France, to be attended by leaders of the U.K., Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States, plus the European Union.

The regulators have also confirmed they will share the results of independent investigations into the companies as well as know-how on ways to deal with violations, the sources said.

Outcomes of the discussions to date may be reported at a meeting of G7 finance ministers and central bank governors in July, the sources said, and an agreement could be included in a declaration from the G7 summit.

The move comes as U.S. tech giants including Google LLC and Amazon.com Inc. face growing criticism that they are preventing newcomers from entering the market by monopolizing customer data through their platforms and takeovers.

Concerns have also emerged that the companies are abusing their dominant position by enforcing contract terms and rules that are disadvantageous to smaller firms, leaving them to shoulder an unfair share of costs.

Japan’s government said Wednesday it plans to submit a bill to the Diet next year to regulate large global and domestic IT firms. The bill is designed to enhance transparency in business transactions.

The envisioned legislation will require Google, Apple Inc., Facebook Inc. and Amazon.com, sometimes referred to collectively as GAFA, and other such IT firms to make contract terms public, according to the draft bill.

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