Japan’s Fair Trade Commission is investigating allegations that Apple pressured Yahoo Japan into pulling back from its Game Plus platform in the country, reports Nikkei.
Yahoo last fall submitted complaints about its Game Plus platform, a web-based service first launched in July 2017. Game Plus is designed to let users play games without needing to download a full app.
52 companies were participating in Games Plus at launch, according to Nikkei, including major game makers like Square Enix, and Yahoo initially planned to expand the platform into other areas, like business software.
Yahoo cut its Game Plus budget last year and pulled back on promotions for the service. According to Yahoo, it did so because of “pressure behind the scenes from Apple.” Such a platform competes with the App Store, where Yahoo also offers apps for sale.
Japan’s Fair Trade Commission is said to be gathering information on the situation, which it says “may constitute interference in Yahoo’s business prohibited by the Anti-Monopoly Act.”
Nikkei says it’s unclear how the investigation will proceed, as Japanese investment company SoftBank, a major Yahoo shareholder has stepped in to mediate. Companies also often hesitate to work with authorities, according to an attorney that spoke to Nikkei, which can make it difficult to prove wrongdoing.