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Foreign countries continue to clamp down on big tech

by on05 July 2022

While the US Supreme court lets them do what they like

While the US Supreme Court appears to be letting Big Tech get away with murder, foreign governments are taking a different approach.

Japanese legal experts have said an antitrust case related to a local restaurant website could change how large internet platforms such as Google, Facebook and Amazon operate in the country, forcing them to reveal the inner workings of their secret algorithms.

Last month, a Tokyo court ruled in favour of Hanryumura, a Korean-style BBQ restaurant chain operator in an antitrust case brought against, operator of Tabelog, Japan's largest restaurant review platform. Hanryumura successfully argued that had altered the way user scores were tallied in ways that hurt sales at its restaurant outlets. While has been ordered to pay Hanryumura $284,000 in damages for "abuse of superior bargaining position," the internet company has appealed against the decision.

Japanese legal experts said the outcome may have far-reaching implications, as the court requested to disclose part of its algorithms. While the restaurant group is constrained from publicly revealing what information was shown to it, the court's request set a rare precedent. #

Big Tech groups have long argued that their algorithms should be considered trade secrets in all circumstances. Courts and regulators across the world have begun to challenge that position, with many businesses having complained about the negative impact caused by even small changes to search and recommendations services.

If this approach continues, Big Tech might be forced to reveal their algorithms everywhere other than the US.


Last modified on 05 July 2022
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