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Japan's anti-monopoly watchdog puts Apple, Google on high alert

Smartphones are displayed at a Bic Camera outlet in Tokyo's Shinjuku district.

TOKYO -- Japan's anti-monopoly watchdog has sent a warning to the country's mobile carriers, calling them out for questionable practices related to smartphones. More subtly, it has let internet titans Apple, Google and Amazon know that their practices are now under the microscope. 

The Japan Fair Trade Commission aired its concerns in an Aug. 2 report titled "Issues regarding competition policy in the mobile phone market." While the title may not be especially exciting, the report received wide newspaper coverage. Many of the stories focused on how the watchdog appears to think that the country's three largest mobile carriers -- NTT Docomo, KDDI and SoftBank Group -- are hindering healthy competition by making it difficult for new players to enter the smartphone market.

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