The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has said it would launch a probe into Apple and Google’s dominance in the mobile market. The regulatory body claims that the two tech giants had established a stranglehold across the market, thereby creating a duopoly.
The CMA in a statement, says a consultation process was already ongoing with the view of an investigation, following a year-long study that found Google and Apple had an “effective duopoly on mobile ecosystems”. This dominance, it says, allowed the tech giants to exercise control over the market through their operating systems, app stores, and web browsers on mobile devices.
CMA notes that without interventions, both companies are likely to maintain, and even strengthen, their grip over the sector, further restricting competition and limiting incentives for innovators.
What they are saying
Commenting on the regulator’s preliminary findings on both companies, CEO of the CMA, Andrea Coscelli, said: “When it comes to how people use mobile phones, Apple and Google hold all the cards. As good as many of their services and products are, their strong grip on mobile ecosystems allows them to shut out competitors, holding back the British tech sector and limiting choice.
“We all rely on browsers to use the internet on our phones, and the engines that make them work have a huge bearing on what we can see and do. Right now, choice in this space is severely limited and that has real impacts – preventing innovation and reducing competition from web apps. We need to give innovative tech firms, many of which are ambitious start-ups, a fair chance to compete.
“We have always been clear that we will maximise the use of our current tools while we await legislation for the new digital regime. Today’s announcements – alongside the 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 that in action,” he added.
Claims against Apple, Google
- The CMA claimed Apple and Google use their mobile ecosystems to determine “the rules of the game” and make it difficult for rival businesses to compete.
- In total, Apple and Google hold a 90 per cent market share of default mobile browsers pre-installed on smartphones in the UK.
- With regards to cloud gaming, the regulator accused Apple of blocking the emergence of the platform on its App Store.