Japanese antimonopoly watchdog drafts guidelines to regulate IT giants


The Fair Trade Commission has drafted guidelines stipulating that it can consider cases where information technology giants obtain personal data without consent as violations of the country’s antimonopoly law, it was learned Tuesday.

The antimonopoly watchdog will shortly compile a final draft of the guidelines and seek public opinions, informed sources said.

The move is aimed at preventing IT giants from obtaining and using personal information in an inappropriate manner.

Once the guidelines are finalized, the FTC will issue cease-and-desist orders over cases violating the antimonopoly law and impose fines if impacts from the practices involved are serious, according to the sources.

While global IT giants, such as U.S. e-commerce titan Inc. and search engine behemoth Google LLC, have been expanding their businesses by collecting vast amounts of information, the Japanese government late last year came up with a set of principles for tightening regulations on such companies, including the possible application of the antimonopoly law.

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