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Japan to introduce bill to ensure fair online business competition

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present search results in favor of certain products and services, distorting search neutrality.

Happens all the time, did a search for some shoes the other day on google, and WHAM my FB page "mysteriously" was headed by advertising for guess what......

Good luck in actually getting something done with this!

11 ( +13 / -2 )

If I can get the best deal by whatever means are necessary a company is using I really don't care. I like most consumers are looking for the better deal and less out of pocket costs. Here in Japan that is very difficult as there is no price competition just one monopoly system. It comes down to customer like or dislike of brand name.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

The advertising system is a variation of the collaborative filtering, similar to the one used on netflix to recommend new shows.

There is nothing wrong with it, and it even sometimes help - especially on amazon - when you are trying to decide whether to go for a product or another.

Unfortunately, in Japan, resellers are in a cartel, fixing prices and making no real competition. It is funny they claim GAFA promote unfair competition.

Japan, shout less and study more.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Japan trying to keep "fair" business practices LOL!!

10 ( +13 / -3 )

It sounds like they are trying to make sure their retail cartels stay in power. Price fixing is the name of the game with Japan.

China's strategy is protect, steal, copy, and compete.

Japan' strategy is protect, protect, protect and protect. (They want to help Yahoo Japan and Rakuten. They don't want another failure like Son's Softbank.)

"While the new law will ask (digital platformers) to improve transparency of their transactions by disclosing information such as reasons for declining to do business (with certain companies), the new rules will respect the autonomy of the operators as much as possible so as to avoid hindering innovation," Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in a government meeting later Tuesday.

Why would the companies provide regular reports to a country who Technology Minister is an oldman that admitted that he doesn't know how to use technology? This bill has no teeth.

"While the new law will ask (digital platformers) to improve transparency of their transactions by disclosing information such as reasons for declining to do business

I have seen companies in Japan refuse service to customers simply because they are foreigners without batting an eye from the government or public at large.

Why should foreign businesses have to explain themselves? Foreign businesses like customers don't want to do business with companies trying to overcharge them.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

This is just another in a long line of protectionist policies here in Japan.

Can anyone remember, region locked DVD's, unable to use cell phones overseas because they are locked here in Japan, and a host of other "Japan" specific rules and regulations.

And they want to talk about "fair" competition?

17 ( +19 / -2 )

Social media (Twitter, Facebook, etc...) allows good news and bad news to travel quickly these days. It is easy to give feedback on the best companies to buy products and services with the best prices.

Japan is really big on getting companies to partner up, so the Japanese company can be the sole distributor that doubles or triples the original price, but people understand that buying direct can be cheaper (Apple).

People are more tech savvy and can find the products for much cheaper prices including shipping (Amazon, Google).

More Japanese companies want the J-government to control powerful global tech companies like they did Uber and AirBnB instead of offering competitive prices.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

will it have teeth?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

(They want to help Yahoo Japan and Rakuten. They don't want another failure like Son's Softbank.)

Huh? Softbank hasn't failed, not even close to it. They still made profits of over 400 BILLION yen.

If that is a "failure" to you, I wonder what the hell a success is?!?!

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Price fixing is illegal in many other countries. When I share this with the locals they are most surprised to here how much I paid for this and that. The more we say about how the rest of the world actually lives the more freedom people here may be able to gain from being slaves to corporate juggernauts. Policies about work overtime has changed very quickly. Yet the protection of domestic financial interests may never change. Sorry Japan you may never be able to buy the latest mobile for $20 with a $5 SIM without hidden clauses. I must say all the comments here are all very true. And one final comment from me. Thank you Amazon, I could afford to buy this keyboard by which I can type this comment.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

This sounds like a token measure to please someone, a retail association or the like.

Of the companies mentioned, the worse by far is Facebook, which is happy to spread political propaganda, outright lies even, so long as they make money from it. We have not heard much about this in Japan yet, but it will be coming. Second worst is Google, not for biasing shopping searches, but for massive data collection and selling on, based on scant consumer protection. The average person does not have a clue what they are doing. They just think they are getting free web searches, free email, and a free satnav. Compared to what is going on, promoting product A over product B is minor issue.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Unfortunately, in Japan, resellers are in a cartel, fixing prices and making no real competition. It is funny they claim GAFA promote unfair competition

Funny? More like downright ridiculous!

Japan trying to keep "fair" business practices LOL!!

I know! did my head in as well!!

Can anyone remember, region locked DVD's, unable to use cell phones overseas because they are locked here in Japan, and a host of other "Japan" specific rules and regulations.

> And they want to talk about "fair" competition?

EXACTLY

5 ( +7 / -2 )

@Yubaru

Huh? Softbank hasn't failed, not even close to it. They still made profits of over 400 BILLION yen.

If that is a "failure" to you, I wonder what the hell a success is?!?!

Japan’s Softbank posts big losses after WeWork debacle

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/11/06/softbank-group-plunges-to-6point5-billion-quarterly-loss.html

SoftBank, the Japanese technology conglomerate famous for seismic and visionary bets, has lost $4.7 billion in the WeWork debacle, the company said Wednesday.

SoftBank posted losses of 700 billion yen ($6.4 billion) in the July-September quarter, with the damage coming largely from its Vision Fund, created to invest in startups like WeWork and Uber. The massive loss compares with a 526 billion yen profit during the same period last year.

OK!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I don't trust fb goggle etc etc BUT I also DONT trust the J-govt EITHER!

As many have correctly pointed out price competition doesn't really exist in Japan. I have said for decades that VALUE for $$$$ in Japan is extremely LOW!! Service is usually good but value seldom measures up!

So in the end I guess I don't trust ANY of these companies or govt to do RIGHT by us consumers sadly!

6 ( +7 / -1 )

As for the protection of personal data, the government will revise the personal information protection law to allow individuals to request digital firms to delete or suspend the use of their data

It's kind of protection that make people forget what scandals that happened. Who are people that involved in that scandal or what this person did in the past?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

OK!

Meaning what? Just because a conglomerate loses money in one sector does not make it a failure.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Fair competition in Japan? Yeah, right.

I'm looking forward to the day I can buy some basmati rice without having to spring for a 700% tariff to make sure some 75-year-old with half an acre in Chiba keeps voting LDP.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

 bill to be submitted to the Diet next year will seek to mandate that Google LLC, Apple Inc, Facebook Inc and Amazon.com Inc, collectively known as GAFA, as well as other digital business firms, disclose how they set rules on displaying search results

How about mandating NHK to show, how the pick their headlines? That's should be disclosed too.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

They need introduce legislation to control the Japanese sellers within the organizations. I use amazon.jp a lot. The price differences between the sane product and different sellers is astonishing. You’ll find the same item listed for ¥3,000 or ¥30,000. That is what they should be focusing on.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Sounds like veiled protectionism. Which local tech companies are going to be given gyoseishido on the basis of the intel the government gathers?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Good luck in actually getting something done with this!

Duck Duck Go, Tor browser, Adblock Plus - 3 simple solutions if you do not want to be tracked.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Frequent user of internet shopping especially Amazon and Rakuten. Sometimes the prices on Amazon are taking the piss and trying it on. I always wonder if anyone pays them but I guess someone must. I think Amazon needs to remove those sites. Recently when I want something I first check out any returned goods which are not listed but sold off at greatly reduced prices. All returns go there. I check the price on Rakuten too which also charges sales taxes.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Many sites not prevent the use of ad blocking at least many of the major ones. Epic browser does the job without having an ad blocker. Openvpn is good too. I use

https://www.vpngate.net/en/

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

their dominant positions hinder fair competition

The only thing I am hearing is that Rakuten and Yahoo are finding it hard to compete so we have to give them handicaps.

Also, many Japanese companies don't have an online presence and that is part of the reason they are not able to capitalize on certain things.

When it comes to Rakuten vs Amazon. There is no comparison. It is difficult to find things on Rakuten. As for Yahoo Japan, many of their services are only in Japanese so it can frustrating to use sometimes.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The only thing I am hearing is that Rakuten and Yahoo are finding it hard to compete so we have to give them handicaps

Not to mention Japan content industry that supposed to have lot of potential.

Ask anyone who live outside Japan, what kind of online service they use from Japan most of them they will say nothing.

From China service Alibaba or Aliexpress are use by people worldwide

3 ( +3 / -0 )

"fair competition"..... what does that mean I wonder. in any form of competition there will winners and losers.

rather sounds to me like taking legal action to selectively stifle competition..... after having consulted with "domestic information technology firms Rakuten Inc. and Yahoo Japan Corp." (my emphasis)

3 ( +3 / -0 )

If you can't beat them, hinder them.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Sometimes the prices on Amazon are taking the piss and trying it on.

True, there are some ridiculous prices, but it's easy to weed those out.

Also Amazon raises the prices sometimes when they are low in stock.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The only thing I am hearing is that Rakuten and Yahoo are finding it hard to compete so we have to give them handicaps

I think it is more of Amazon vs it's own sellers. But if Amazon doesn't show the cheaper and better product, users will turn to Rakuten or Yahoo in the end, I guess.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@ I think it is more of Amazon vs it's own sellers. But if Amazon doesn't show the cheaper and better product, users will turn to Rakuten or Yahoo in the end, I guess.

The issue with the majority of posts is not the turning towards a specific brand or site doing it for them, but rather the lack of real fair price competition vs monopoly, i.e. price fixing". How many times have you gone into a convenience store to buy say tea in a pet bottle. Then you go later into a different convenience store but the price doesn't change. It's the same the price is hard fixed. Same thing they want to do on the Internet.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

We recently bought a tv and it was 10% cheaper at the weekend for three weekends running. That was on Joshin, Bic Camera (through points), and Amazon (cash price).

When buying something recommended off Amazon, be sure it is actually the same as the thing you were already looking at. You can do a search for prime stuff that will come the next day, yet be recommended other stuff that is not prime and take a week to come. Or be recommended stuff that is similar but a different size and not compatible.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Or be recommended stuff that is similar but a different size and not compatible.

I actually blamed Amazon for that recently and they paid the shipping when I returned it. Their customer support is really good.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I actually blamed Amazon for that recently and they paid the shipping when I returned it. Their customer support is really good.

Good is a euphemism. They’re quick, reliable and cheap.

Japanese companies are beginning to understand how useless and expensive the resale concept is.

Last week I wanted to buy a cold press juicer: 1) price at Bic Camera 26000 yen 2) price on amazon 19000 yen. Bye Bic Camera!

god bless free market.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

It was cheaper for me to buy the same coffee pot on Amazon.com (the American one) than it was on Amazon.co.jp, even after shipping. Of course, both of them were cheaper than Rakuten as well. Japanese companies often operate a form of price fixing and the government knows this which is why it split up the mobile market to allow competition.

It is reasonable for the government to implement policies to protect the domestic market and the EU has acted against Google etc for similar reasons because of their shady dealings. It will be ridiculous though if at the same time they don't also ensure benefits are passed onto consumers.

¥700 for a kilo of rice being a prime example of what's not really an appropriate protection measure...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

therougou

Also Amazon raises the prices sometimes when they are low in stock.

If sold directly by Amazon which are ones I try to find they control the price but otherwise the prices are set by the buyers and there some crazy prices that catch some people.

Check out the returns first

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If that is a "failure" to you, I wonder what the hell a success is?!?!

Its all relative, for example if a recording artist sells 20 million records, then makes another record and it only sells 5 million, it is considered a failure.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

More than half (now about 60%) of sales on Amazon are not from Amazon itself, but instead from 3rd-party sellers. They're outselling Amazon

Jeff Bezos says third-party sellers on Amazon are “kicking our butt”

https://qz.com/1592802/jeff-bezos-third-party-sellers-on-amazon-are-kicking-our-butt/

0 ( +0 / -0 )

lostrune2

More than half (now about 60%) of sales on Amazon are not from Amazon itself, but instead from 3rd-party sellers. They're outselling Amazon

Yes check the seller first. Many items coming from China and some are spammers. Had a few problems but nothing expensive and did get my money back from Amazon. But I've also had good stuff from China with no problem.

Two or three items didn't arrive, meadow seeds from India.

No more direct sales from third party unless they do COD and then don't use my credit card. If it don't arrive nothing lost. Japan based companies more reliable.

I now look for fulfilled by Amazon usually pay by card if doubtful COD.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Pls list clearly fair .

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I guess GAFA have prevented Japanese companies from providing their famous "omotenashi", which of course includes fixing prices, making it damn near impossible to return a purchase, and giving you a brain hemorrhage while you try to find the "Add to cart" button on their product page. This of course topped off with the cookie-cutter plain text e-mail which will give you a bunch of information you don't need on top of your actual order info.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Blockchain internet is the future.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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