The government is considering tighter regulations for global information technology giants such as Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon. This is out of concern these so-called platform companies take advantage of their overwhelming share in internet services like search engines and online shopping to impose unfair business terms on smaller firms that use their services. An interim report compiled by an experts’ panel set up by the industry ministry urges the government to weigh setting up a watchdog organization as well as obliging the IT giants to disclose information about the key terms of transactions with users of their service.

As the report says, the platform companies “design, operate and manage the markets in which large numbers of consumers and businesses participate” and thus provide the infrastructure crucial to today’s socio-economic activities. If so, steps need to be taken to ensure that their operations are fair and equitable for all participants in the markets. At the same time, excessive regulations that hamper their efforts to create new markets and services through innovative ideas and new technology must be avoided.

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