After investigating the “duplex” of Google and Apple for a year, the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has decided they “hold all cards” in the mobile phone market.
In a statement, the British agency said: “The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is consulting on launching a market investigation into Apple and Google’s market power in mobile browsers and Apple’s restrictions on cloud gaming through the App Store.”
“In parallel, it is also taking enforcement action against Google in relation to its App Store payment practices,” the CMA said.
After a year of research, CMA has found that the tech giant has an “effective monopoly” over the mobile ecosystem.
It should be noted that the browser engines from Apple and Google are responsible for 97% of all mobile web browsing in the UK. iPhones and Android smartphones often come with Safari and Chrome pre-installed, giving their browsers an early edge.
In addition, Apple forces developers to use its WebKit engine to surf the web in its iOS and iPadOS apps. According to the CMA, this undermines Apple’s incentive to invest in Safari.
According to the CMA, Apple also has controls in place that prevent cloud gaming apps from being downloaded from its App Store. Cloud gaming services must submit each playable game individually for evaluation and approval if they wish to be featured. The business later made an exception, but only to allow services like Xbox Cloud Gaming to be accessed through a browser on iOS devices.
In its announcement, the CMA said the lack of intervention would allow digital giants to retain and even expand their control over mobile browsers, operating systems and app marketplaces. Their monopoly can hinder competition and reduce incentives for individuals and other businesses to develop new goods and technologies for those markets.
Andrea Coselli, Chief Executive of CMA, said: “We have always been clear that we will make the most of our existing tools while we await legislation for the new digital governance.”
“Today’s announcements – with 8 cases currently open against major players in the tech industry, ranging from tackling fake reviews to addressing problems in online advertising – are proof of this in action,” Kocelli continued.
However, it is not only the UK but also regulatory and government officials around the world that are closely scrutinizing tech companies amid potential anti-competitive concerns.
Last year, the European Commission accused Apple of distorting competition in the music streaming industry by enforcing stringent App Store rules that force developers to use the company’s in-app payment mechanism and give them access to other purchase options. Prevents customers from telling about
The European Union last year launched a formal antitrust investigation that Google was abusing its dominant position in the ad-technology sector, the most comprehensive investigation to date into that aspect of the company’s operations.
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