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Options for Rulemaking to Address the Rise of Platform Businesses Released

May 21, 2019

Joint Press Release with the Japan Fair Trade Commission and the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) and the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) hereby release two reports titled “Options for Ideal Approaches to Rulemaking for Securing Transparency and Fairness in Trading Environments” and “Options for Ideal Approaches to Data Transfer and Disclosure.” These are reports that the Study Group on Improvement of Trading Environment Surrounding Digital Platform Businesses of experts compiled based on its discussions.

On July 10, 2018, METI, JFTC and MIC inaugurated a Study Group on Improvement of the Trading Environment Surrounding Digital Platform Businesses (hereinafter referred to as the “study group”). Since then, the study group undertook research and discussions on rulemaking to address the rise of platform businesses, compiled the discussion results into an interim discussion paper and released it on December 12, 2018. Based on the interim discussion paper, METI, JFTC and MIC formulated a policy paper titled “Fundamental Principles for Rule Making to Address the Rise of Platform Businesses” and on December 18, 2018, released the policy paper.

Following this, on February 13, 2019, the Council on Investments for the Future held discussions on the issue of “rulemaking for digital markets,” including rulemaking to secure transparency and fairness in trading practices surrounding digital platform businesses and promotion of data transfer and disclosure, and decided that the government will formulate related policies as part of the action plan for growth strategies to be compiled in the summer of 2019.

In light of the discussions, METI, JFTC and MIC jointly inaugurated two working groups consisting of academic experts and company members under the study group: Working Group for Securing Transparency and Fairness in Trading Environments; and Working Group for Ideal Approaches to Data Transfer and Disclosure. Since then, these working groups have been advancing discussions in an intensive manner.

Against this backdrop, based on the findings compiled by the working groups, on April 24, 2019, the study group held discussions and compiled its findings into two reports titled “Options for Ideal Approaches to Rulemaking for Securing Transparency and Fairness in Trading Environments” (for the full text, see Appendix 1-1; for the summary of the text, see Appendix 1-2) and “Options for Ideal Approaches to Data Transfer and Disclosure” (for the full text, see Appendix 2-1; for the summary of the text, see Appendix 2-2). METI hereby releases these reports.

As for future actions, the government of Japan will advance more detailed discussions toward implementation of specific measures in parallel with these Options reports.

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