Yahoo Finance’s Akiko Fujita breaks down the top stories around the world.
AKIKO FUJITA: In our worldview today, antitrust regulators in the UK have opened a sweeping investigation into Apple and Google's mobile ecosystems. The Competition and Markets Authority says it is launching a 12-month study to determine if the big tech companies' dominance is stifling competition there. The key question, whether Apple and Google use their Android and iOS app stores to exploit consumers and developers along with their supply of mobile browsers. The regulators already opened separate investigations into both companies and it's preparing to step up scrutiny of big tech further by launching a tech-focused unit.
Japan's considering placing Tokyo under a limited state of emergency during the Summer Olympics to control the spread of COVID-19. Emergency restrictions throughout Japan are set to be lifted on June 20th as of now but the government is reportedly planning to keep restrictions in place for the capital or reimpose them during the Olympics. Under those rules, restaurants and bars would be required to limit their hours, while those who violate restrictions face fines. All this comes as Japanese leaders face growing opposition to the Olympic Games with a majority of the public raising concerns about a potential surge in COVID-19 infections.
Meantime, the Japanese government says it's donating a million doses of AstraZeneca's vaccine supply to Vietnam as that country faces a resurgence in cases. Japan secured 120 million doses of the vaccine, but it has yet to use those AstraZeneca vaccines domestically because of concerns over blood clots.
And finally, the baby boom in Germany continues. The country reported a 10% jump in birth rates in March, the highest increase in 23 years. All of this comes nine months after the first wave of COVID-19 restrictions were lifted. Now Germany has been a relative outlier globally as countries like the US and China report the lowest birth rates in more than four decades during the pandemic. The birth rate for Europe's largest economy has steadily increased under Chancellor Angela Merkel since she has expanded parental benefits.