CMA probes Apple and Google over browser “duopoly”  


The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is pressing ahead with a full investigation into the tech giant’s dominance in the mobile browser market

This week, the CMA has announced that it has launched a full market investigation into the market dominance of Apple and Google’s respective mobile browsers, saying they “exercise a stranglehold” over the mobile software ecosystem.

The CMA first launched a consultation back in June, the results of which show a “substantial support” for a deeper investigation into Apple and Googles’ policies regarding their mobile browsers.

According to the CMA, 97% of all mobile web traffic in the UK is facilitated by either Apple’s Safari browser or Google’s Google Chrome.

“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,” wrote the CMA in a press release.

The CMA fears that this dominance not only stifles competition in the mobile browser market itself and disincentivises the tech giants to invest in their browsers, but also directly impacts web developers through restrictions the two companies impose.

“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. “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.”

The investigation will also focus on these browsers’ relationships to cloud gaming, with the CMA suggesting that Apple restricts customer access to cloud gaming applications through its app store.

Both Apple and Google, naturally, argue that the current market dynamics are functional and promote competition. In particular, Google was quick to pin much of the CMA’s regulatory concern on Apple, given the latter’s ban on alternative browsers on iOS and restrictions on cloud gaming in the App Store.

The news of this probe comes at a time when both Google and Apple are facing increasing pressure from EU regulatory bodies, with antitrust bodies already separately investigating both companies.

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The post CMA probes Apple and Google over browser “duopoly”   first appeared on Total Telecom.

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