The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in the United Kingdom has indicated that it is looking into Apple and Google’s dominating position in the mobile phone industry. It’s “taking a closer look” at the two companies’ “effective duopoly”. This covers the Android and iOS operating systems and both app stores and the Safari and Chrome web browsers. Officials are investigating whether the two are “suffocating competition in a variety of digital industries”. “The CMA is worried that this may result in less innovation throughout the sector, as well as consumers paying higher costs for devices and applications, as well as other products and services, as a result of higher advertising charges,” the regulator stated.
What does Google say in this?
According to Google, the Android ecosystem produces £2.8 billion in revenue for UK developers and employs 240,000 people. It also stated that it has made significant adjustments to its conditions as a result of conversations with authorities. Apple was asked for comment as well. The news also raised the question of whether either of the two internet behemoths had market influence over other firms.
“Apple and Google control the key gateways via which people download apps or surf the web on their mobile devices – whether they want to purchase, play games, stream music, or watch TV,” said Andrea Coscelli, CMA’s chief executive. “We’re looking into if this is causing issues for consumers and companies trying to reach out to individuals via their phones”. According to a Google spokesperson, the business appreciates the CMA’s “efforts to understand” before enacting new laws. “Android gives customers more options than any other mobile platform when it comes to choosing which applications to use, and it allows thousands of developers and manufacturers to launch profitable companies,” she added.
The CMA is already looking into Apple’s App Store and whether its requirements for app developers are anti-competitive.
Similarly, Google is planning a new privacy system which is under review because it fears that it might harm publishers. While both of those concerns were “within the scope” of the current probe. It was also “far wider,” according to the CMA. The watchdog stated that he is having an interest in hearing from app developers directly about their experiences. It asked questions in a survey about which app store developers use and whether web-based alternatives provide the same experience.