Japan's government plans to set up a new watchdog to scrutinize big tech companies like Facebook and Google amid growing concerns about monopoly practices and the handling of personal data.
The new regulator will examine competitive practices, the protection of personal data, and make anti-trust recommendations, according to a presentation made at a government advisory panel on Wednesday.
The new body will also draw up new guidelines to evaluate whether mergers and acquisitions will lead to a monopoly on messaging data or personal data.
The government hopes to finalize the plans for the new regulator by the summer, but it is still uncertain when it will become fully operational. Japan's move is part of a global trend toward tighter anti-trust regulations for major technology companies, which critics say have been allowed to dominate search, social media, and e-commerce with little oversight.
Bureaucrats also gave a presentation to cabinet ministers showing how Facebook, Google, Amazon.com, Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd and China's Baidu Inc have increased influence by expanding into payment systems, retail shops, self-driving cars, drones, and interconnected devices.