The UK’s competition watchdog has begun an in-depth investigation into the dominance of Apple and Google in the mobile browser market. The Competition and Markets Authority says that they will explore the two companies’ duopoly over browsing, together with Apple’s control over cloud gaming through the App Store.
In 2021, the agency claims that 97% of all web browsing that took place in the UK was powered by either Google or Apple. They claim that with the current landscape, innovation is being limited in the UK, and the duopoly only adds “unnecessary costs” to businesses being run in the country.
The Authority claims to have received substantial support from web developers, cloud gaming service providers and other browser vendors, who all took part in a consultation they carried out in June.
“Many U.K. businesses and web developers tell us they feel that they are being held back by restrictions set by Apple and Google, 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,” says Sarah Cardell, interim chief executive of the Competition and Markets Authority
Google and Apple on the other hand have not kept quiet, releasing statements of their own to ascertain that they encourage competition and have not really hindered competition from other players in any way. The two companies argue that the restrictions that they have in place in their respective platforms are there to protect users, rather than limit choice and innovation.
“Android gives people a greater choice of apps and app stores than any other mobile platform. It also enables developers to choose the browser engine they want, and has been the launchpad for millions of apps,” reads a statement from a Google representative
“Through the App Store, we’ve helped millions of developers turn their brightest ideas into apps that change the world, spurring an app economy that supports hundreds of thousands of jobs in the UK alone, We will continue to engage constructively with the Competition and Markets Authority to explain how our approach promotes competition and choice while ensuring consumers’ privacy and security are always protected,” reads Apple’s statement on the matter