Britain’s competition watchdog on Tuesday launched an in-depth investigation into the mobile browsers dominance of Apple and Google.
Responses to the advisory it launched in June revealed “significant support” for a fuller investigation into this matter and whether iPhone maker Apple restricts cloud gaming through its App Store, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said.
“Many UK companies and web developers tell us they feel held back by restrictions imposed by Apple and Google,” Sarah Cardell, interim chief executive of the CMA, said in a statement.
“We plan to investigate whether the concerns we heard are justified, and if so, identify steps to improve competition and innovation in these sectors. US tech giants, including Google owner Alphabet and Apple, are attracting increased interest from competition regulators in Brussels and London and other places.
The company said last month that the Google Play Store was the subject of separate investigations by antitrust authorities in the European Union and Britain.
Why is the probe running?
The move follows a market study by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) last year, which yielded a final report this summer concluding that there were major concerns about competition, with the regulator finding that the tech giants had an “effective double monopoly over mobile ecosystems.” that allow them to impose their control over operating systems, app stores, and web browsers on mobile devices,” according to Report by Tech Crunch.
At the same time, the Capital Market Authority proposed a Market Investigation Reference (MIR) with Two focus: one on Apple and Google’s market power in mobile browsers, and the other on Apple’s restrictions on cloud gaming with its own App Store. This MIR proposal triggered a standard consultation process, whereby the regulator seeks feedback on the scope of the proposed investigation, then confirms the decision to conduct a market investigation, launching what is known as a ‘Phase 2’ (in-depth) investigation which can take up to 18 days. month to complete.
Capital Markets Authority announced that the investigation It will focus on providing mobile browsers and browser engines, as well as distributing cloud gaming services via mobile app stores. The Capital Markets Authority said in a press release announcing the start of the in-depth investigation that the responses to the consultation showed “substantial” support for a more comprehensive investigation into the matter. How “Apple and Google dominate the mobile browser market” and how “Apple restricts cloud gaming with its App Store.”
Its PR stresses the strategic importance of mobile browsers, stating that “most” people use a mobile browser at least daily to access online content, and that 97% of all mobile web browsing in the UK last year took place on browsers powered by either Apple’s or Google’s browser enginesgiving the pair tremendous power over users’ experiences.
Concerned about cloud gaming services, the regulator is concerned that restrictions across mobile platforms will stifle growth in the developing sector, leading to “lose“As he says.
Web developers have complained that Apple’s limitations, combined with a proposed lack of investment in its browser technology, lead to additional costs and frustration as they have to deal with bugs and glitches when creating web pages, and have no choice but to build custom mobile apps when they might. The location will suffice,” the press release reads.
“Ultimately, these limitations limit choice and may make it difficult to bring innovative new applications into the hands of UK consumers.”
Apple and Google have argued that the restrictions are needed to protect users.
What Google and Apple said
Google said its Android operating system gives users more choice of apps and app stores than any other mobile platform. “It also enables developers to choose which browser engine they want, and it has been the launch pad for millions of apps,” a spokesperson said.
“We are committed to building thriving, open platforms that empower consumers and help developers build successful businesses.”
Apple said it would engage “constructively” with the CMA to explain how its approach “promotes competition and choice, while ensuring consumers’ privacy and security are protected.”
What is big tech and why is it in trouble
according to Report By Tech Target, Big Tech refers to the strongest and largest technology companies in their respective industries. Its products and services are used globally and heavily relied on by businesses and individuals, which raises concerns about their impact and operations, as well as whether strict regulations should be considered.
Many large companies are frequently referred to as Big Tech. They are often combined and referred to using abbreviations. A group of companies known as “The Four”, “Four Horsemen” or “GAFA” all started in the US and are headquartered there – Apple, Google, Facebook (under Meta now) and Amazon.
Big tech companies have grown significantly over the past 20 years. Most of them dominate their own market because of their technology. They have changed how companies and individuals use technology in their daily lives, as hundreds of millions of people around the world use and rely on their products and services. The report explains that tech giants continue to rule because they understand their markets and the needs of their customers, and offer products that guarantee customer satisfaction.
However, companies are now facing problems and demands for regulation. In January 2020, the US House Judiciary Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law launched an antitrust investigation into Big Tech. In January 2021, the commission released a report alleging that Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Google all abuse antitrust laws to gain a competitive advantage. According to the report, tech giants use massive amounts of consumer and business data to maintain their monopolies, gain competitive advantage in new product markets, stifle competitive innovation, and eliminate competitors altogether. It further stated that corrective action, including the possibility of splitting these companies, should be implemented through legal action taken by the Department of Justice (DOJ) or legislation passed by Congress.
The EU has also been on a mission to rein in tech giants in the United States, who have been accused of tax evasion, stifling competition, amassing billions in news without paying for it and spreading disinformation.
In the past few years, the European Union has imposed horrific fines on Apple and Google in tax and competition cases, and created a landmark law to curb the market dominance of big companies. Brussels has also tightened its code of conduct on disinformation and hate speech.
With input from the agencies
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