The United Kingdom’s Competition and Markets Authority recently announced its intentions to launch a 12-month study into the mobile ecosystems of tech giants Apple and Google over allegations that the two companies have a harmful duopoly that harms users and stifles competition in the market.
UK watchdog launches probe into Apple and Google over allegations of the duopoly stifling competition
The regulator will examine whether the dominance of Apple and Google in supplying operating systems, app stores, and web browsers is resulting in harm to consumers or developers. The probe will also examine the impact on app developers who rely on the tech giants to advertise their products.
The CMA is concerned that the two firms’ control over mobile ecosystems could lead to reduced innovation across the market and consumers paying higher prices for products such as smart speakers, smartwatches, home security as well as such as video streaming, fitness tracking, shopping, and banking.
“Apple and Google control the major gateways through which people download apps or browse the web on their mobiles – whether they want to shop, play games, stream music or watch TV,” said CMA Chief Executive Andrea Coscelli, in a statement. “We’re looking into whether this could be creating problems for consumers and the businesses that want to reach people through their phones,” he continued.
According to Coscelli, the watchdog’s ongoing investigations into big tech companies have already revealed some “worrying trends” that will harm consumers and businesses if “they go unchecked.”
In a statement to The Guardian, a Google spokesperson said: “Android provides people with more choice than any other mobile platform in deciding which apps they use, and enables thousands of developers and manufacturers to build successful businesses.”
The CMA has 12 months to conclude its investigation into the allegations and it is also asking users and app developers to provide information about their experience with Apple and Google. The closing date for submissions is July 26, 2021.