Japan's antitrust body orders Google to fix ad search limits affecting Yahoo

The Google logo is photographed at the Vivatech show in Paris.
The Google logo is photographed at the Vivatech show in Paris. Copyright Michel Euler/AP Photo
Copyright Michel Euler/AP Photo
By Associated Press
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A Japanese watchdog said Google was undermining competition.


Japan’s antitrust watchdog said Monday that US search giant Google must fix its advertising search restrictions affecting Yahoo in Japan.

The Japan Fair Trade Commission said in a statement that its recent study of Google’s practices showed it was undermining fair competition in the advertising market.

Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Yahoo has merged with the Japanese social media platform Line, and Line Yahoo declined comment.

The alleged questionable practices by Google began about a decade ago and continued for more than seven years, according to the commission.

Google will be under review for the next three years, to ensure it carries out needed changes, the commission said. There is no immediate fine or other penalties for Google, which remains popular among Japanese.

The commission’s move follows another setback for Google in Japan.

Last week, Japanese doctors filed a civil lawsuit against the company, demanding damages for what they claim are groundless derogatory and often false comments.

The Tokyo District Court suit demands 1.4 million yen (€8,489) in damages for 63 medical professionals, for reviews posted on Google Maps.

Google said in response that it's working “24 hours a day” to reduce misleading or false information on its platform, combining human and technological resources “to delete fraudulent reviews".

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