The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is considering launching an investigation into Google and Apple’s dominance in mobile browsers, amid concerns the two tech giants hold a ‘duopoly’ in this sector.
According to the CMA, the two companies have established a “duopoly on mobile ecosystems which allows them to exert a stranglehold on these markets”, in reference to Android and iOS operating systems, application stores and mobile web browsers. .
The CMA wants to know if any action is needed to address potential competition concerns related to Google and Apple’s strong hold on the mobile browser segment. She also plans to review Apple’s restrictions on games through the App Store.
“In the absence of intervention, the two companies are likely to maintain or even strengthen their grip on the sector, which will further restrict competition and limit incentives for innovation”said the CMA.
The planned investigation follows regulators’ review of the two companies’ dominance in the mobile technology market last year. Based on its assessment, the CMA has “ identified a series of potential interventions in these ecosystems ” and ” considered in which areas it can take immediate and targeted action to address these issues using its current powers. »
The CMA said Apple and Google have made it difficult for small businesses to compete in their respective mobile systems.
” When it comes to how people use mobile phones, Apple and Google hold all the cardssaid Andrea Coscelli, CEO of CMA. ” As good as many of their services and products are, their strong hold on the mobile ecosystems allows them to weed out competitors, holding back the UK tech sector and limiting choice.”
Google and Apple together have 90% of the UK mobile browser market, as Chrome and Safari come pre-installed on Android phones and iOS devices.
In the United States, the executed enforced two bills intended to curb anti-competitive behavior by big tech companies. The American Choice and Innovation Act (AICO) and the Open App Markets Act prevent tech giants from favoring their own services.
At the same time, the CMA aims to create “binding legal orders requiring changes to Apple and Google’s practices.”
She is investigating the payment practices of Google’s app store. Google Play Store’s new billing policy requires developers to use its proprietary system for all in-app transactions. This policy has not gone down well with several prosecutors, leading to a lawsuit against Google last year, claiming it has an illegal monopoly on the distribution of mobile apps.