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  5. METI releases Draft Interim Report of the Study Group on the Improvement of the Trade Environment Involving Digital Platform Businesses

METI releases Draft Interim Report of the Study Group on the Improvement of the Trade Environment Involving Digital Platform Businesses

November 5, 2018

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC), and the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) release a draft interim report of the Study Group on the Improvement of the Trade Environment Involving Digital Platform Businesses. In order to obtain opinions on the report from a wide range of parties, they will conduct interviews with businesses and invite public comments.

The Future Investment Strategy 2018 approved by the Cabinet in June 2018 provides that with a view to making rules in response to the rise of the platform business model, fundamental principles should be finalized and specific measures should be implemented promptly during this year. In light of this, with participation of experts from various disciplines including competition policy, information policy, and consumer policy, METI, JFTC, and MIC have held discussions regarding the study and evaluation of systems in other countries and the ongoing challenges and required responses in Japan in relation to digital platform businesses in an effort to identify issues to be addressed (Appendix 1).

Future Investment Strategy 2018 (Extract)

4. Creating a foundation for economic innovation
(2) Bolder regulations and institutional reform
(ii) Rules in response to the rise of the platform business model
  • As digital platforms continue to dominate the market, the rise of  platform business models has brought a need to sustain a competitive business environment. Data portability on selected platforms and open APIs ensure a transparent and level playing field inclusive of SMEs and venture firms. Fundamental principles regarding this new business model shall be finalized and rolled out during this year to ensure fairness to users and clarify corporate social responsibility of platform businesses. Deregulation aimed to stimulate innovation (relaxation of entry requirements, etc.) will be also considered.

Accordingly, METI, JFTC and MIC release a draft interim report that describes the issues identified through the discussions of the study group (Appendix 2), and in order to obtain opinions on the report from a wide range of parties, they will conduct interviews with businesses and invite public comments. The opinions collected in this manner will be taken into consideration in the next discussion phase toward formulating fundamental principles and implementing specific measures.

For details of the public comment process, see the Guidelines for Submitting Public Comments (Appendix 3).

Appendix

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