Market watchdog UK wants to investigate Apple’s and Google’s power with mobile browsers

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The UK competition authority is considering investigating Apple’s and Google’s market power with mobile browsers. At the same time, the regulator wants to investigate Apple’s restrictions on offering cloud gaming via the App Store.

According to the Competition and Markets Authority, Apple and Google hold the mobile browser market firmly in their grasp and 97 percent of mobile browsing traffic in the UK comes from an Apple or Google browser engine. The CMA points out that Apple does not allow mobile browsers on any engine other than Safari in its app store. This would potentially frustrate competition and limit the possibilities of web apps. Apple and Google have a further advantage over competitors, because mobile devices almost always have Safari and Chrome installed by default.

The CMA also finds that Apple is thwarting the rise of game streaming services through restrictions from its App Store. The authority suggests this is because these services pose a threat to Apple’s revenue from gaming apps. The CMA proposes to conduct a market investigation and calls on stakeholders to submit their views. You can do that until July 22.

The competition regulator comes to the proposal after completing an investigation that shows that Apple and Google are in fact have a duopoly with their mobile ecosystems. “If no action is taken, both companies will maintain or even strengthen their grip on the industry, further limiting competition,” the CMA writes. The authority is focusing on mobile browsers and cloud gaming first, but the investigation would have identified a range of topics that deserve further attention. For example, the organization immediately starts an investigation into the rules that Google has drawn up for in-app payments in the Play Store.

Source: Mobile ecosystems market study