Real Clear Markets Op-ed: Gaming the FTC: Japan Colludes With Antitrust Regulators Against MSFT.
Op-ed in the Real Clear Market by Committee for Justice president Curt Levey:
While American politicians and the media focus on China’s anticompetitive practices, similar practices in Japan go largely unnoticed. American auto-manufacturers have long suffered from Japanese protectionism and, more recently, U.S. tech and gaming companies have become targets.
A classic example of this Japanese protectionism is Sony and its PlayStation video gaming console, which controls more than 95% of the Japanese market for high-end consoles. The Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) turns a blind eye as Sony violates Japan’s antitrust laws with its aggressive efforts to stifle competition from its main competitor in the market, Microsoft and its Xbox console and subscription service.
For example, Sony rewards game publishers for not distributing their games through Xbox. While that goes unpunished, the JFTC aggressively investigates American companies.
Meanwhile, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), America’s competition regulator along with the Justice Department, is effectively aiding Sony’s monopolization of the Japanese market by trying to block a merger that would help Microsoft compete in the gaming industry. In December, the FTC filed a complaint seeking to prevent Microsoft from acquiring Activision, a publisher of video games, most famously Call of Duty...