UK launches market study on Apple and Google mobile dominance

Tim Hardwick

The British Competition Authority launched an investigation into Apple and Google's mobile browser market dominance months after saying it was considering a high-level investigation.

Competition and Markets Authority (CMA ) announced on Tuesday when responses to the June consultation showed “substantial support” for a full investigation into how Apple and Google dominate the market and how Apple restricts cloud gaming through its App Store.

The consultation found 86% of respondents. supporting a closer look at Apple and Google's market dominance. Browser vendors, web developers and cloud gaming service providers say the tech giants' mobile ecosystems are hurting their businesses, stifling innovation and driving up unnecessary spending.

The feedback effectively justifies the findings of Apple and Google's year-long CMA study of mobile ecosystems, which the regulator called an “effective duopoly” that allows companies to “keep a stranglehold in these markets.” According to the CMA, in 2021, 97% of all mobile web browsing in the UK was in browsers powered by the Apple or Google browser engine, so any restrictions could seriously impact the user experience.

< p>“Many UK companies and web developers tell us they feel they are being held back by restrictions imposed by Apple and Google,” Sarah Cardell, CMA interim chief executive, said in a statement.


“We we plan to find out if our concerns are justified and, if so, to identify steps to improve competition and innovate in these sectors.”

Within the market, an investigation that should be completed within 18 months, the CMA may request extensive information from Apple in order to draw conclusions and enforce legally binding remedies, which could potentially include orders requiring Apple to make material changes to its practices.

An Apple spokesperson said, “We will continue to engage constructively with the Competition and Markets Authority to explain how our approach promotes competition and choice while protecting consumer privacy and safety at all times.”


Separately, the CMA continues to look into Apple's ‌‌App Store‌‌ terms and conditions as part of a competition law investigation that began in March 2021, and the UK government gives its Digital Markets division statutory powers to punish companies that fail to comply with its rules with significant fines . The British government says it will introduce anti-competitive abuse regulations by May next year in the form of the Digital Markets Competition and Consumer Protection Bill.

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Tags: App Store, Google, antitrust, UK[ 62 comments ]

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