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Google faces Japan anti-trust probe

Japan’s anti-trust watchdog is probing whether Google breached rules by seeking preferential treatment from smartphone manufacturers. This investigation adds to Google’s global competition challenges.

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TOKYO, JAPAN — Japan’s anti-trust watchdog said Monday it is investigating whether Google violated rules by asking smartphone manufacturers for preferential treatment.

The Japan Fair Trade Commission probe adds to the search engine giant’s woes as it locks horns with other competition authorities, including in the United States.

The agency said Google is suspected of requiring its search apps to be included in the devices and with their icons in specific places.

Google also signed contracts with Android-device makers to sign contracts not to include its rival search apps in their products in exchange for sharing profits generated from advertisement revenues driven from Google searches.

The commission will seek the public’s input until 22 November.

— AFP

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