Tech

Google, Apple, Face In-Depth CMA Probe Into Mobile Browser Dominance, UK Watchdog Says

Apple and Google’s mobile browsers are facing an in-depth investigation into their market dominance, launched by Britain’s competition watchdog, months after the regulator began considering a probe. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said on Tuesday responses to its consultation from June revealed “substantial support” for a fuller investigation into the matter and how iPhone maker Apple restricts cloud gaming through its app store.

“Many UK businesses and web developers tell us they feel that they are being held back by restrictions set by Apple and Google,” said Sarah Cardell, interim chief executive of the CMA, in a statement.

“We plan to investigate whether the concerns we have heard are justified and, if so, identify steps to improve competition and innovation in these sectors.”

In response to the CMA’s June plans, Google had stated it would continue to work with the watchdog.

Apple said on Tuesday it would “constructively” engage with the CMA to explain how its approach “promotes competition and choice, while ensuring consumers’ privacy and security are protected.”

Google did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment on the latest developments.

Back in June, the CMA had said the two tech giants had an “effective duopoly” on mobile ecosystems that gave them a stranglehold on operating systems, app stores, and web browsers on mobile devices.

“When it comes to how people use mobile phones, Apple and Google hold all the cards,” CMA Chief Executive Andrea Coscelli had stated at the time, following the publication of a report on mobile ecosystems.

At the time, the CMA had also stated that it was concerned this severely limited the potential for rival browsers to differentiate themselves from Apple’s Safari, for example on features such as speed and functionality. Apple had responded stating that it had “created a safe and trusted experience users love and a great business opportunity for developers” through its ecosystem.

© Thomson Reuters 2022


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