Apple and Google are under investigation by CMA for having duopoly on mobile ecosystems

CMA says Apple and Google “hold all the cards”.
google play logo on left, app store logo on right

The Competition and Markets Authority, the competition regulator in UK has launched a market investigation into cloud gaming and mobile browsers after receiving widespread support for its proposals first published in June.

Related: UK competition regulators will inspect the Activision Blizzard deal until March 2023

The Competition and Markets Authority consulted on launching a market investigation alongside its Mobile Ecosystem Market Study report, which found that Apple and Google have an effective duopoly on mobile ecosystems that allows them to exercise a stranglehold over operating systems, app stores, and web browsers on mobile devices.

In the official press release, UK regulators stated:

“Browsers are one of the most important and widely used apps on mobile devices. Most people use their browsers at least daily to access online content such as information, news, videos, and shopping. 97% of all mobile web browsing in the UK in 2021 happens on browsers powered by either Apple’s or Google’s browser engine, so any restrictions on these engines can have a major impact on users’ experiences.”

The press release also says web developers have complained that Apple’s restrictions, combined with suggested underinvestment in its browser technology, lead to added costs and frustration as they have to deal with bugs and glitches when building web pages, and have no choice but to create bespoke mobile apps when a website might be sufficient.

Sarah Cardell, interim Chief Executive of the CMA, said:

“We want to make sure that UK consumers get the best new mobile data services, and those UK developers can invest in innovative new apps.

“Many UK businesses and web developers tell us they feel that they are being held back by restrictions set by Apple and Google. When the new Digital Markets regime is in place, it’s likely to address these sorts of issues. In the meantime, we are using our existing powers to tackle problems where we can. 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.”

More information and case details can be found on mobile browsers and cloud gaming market investigation page.

NEXT: Microsoft plans to open Xbox mobile gaming store to rival Google Play and App Store

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