UK probes Apple and Google’s control over web browsing

The UK government’s Competition and Markets Authority or CMA has opened an investigation into the duopoly of tech majors Apple and Google on mobile ecosystems.

The authority said it would conduct further investigation into how Apple and Google dominate the mobile browser market and how Apple restricts cloud gaming through its App Store.

The probe, which was launched after receiving widespread support for its previously published proposals, aims to support UK technology and consumers.

According to CMA, the market investigation will examine various concerns as well as whether new rules are needed to achieve better results. It will improve competition and lead to greater choice for consumers and better quality products.

In a statement, the agency noted that its Mobile Ecosystem Market Research Report found that Apple and Google have effective control over mobile ecosystems, allowing them to exert control over systems. operating systems, application stores and web browsers on mobile devices.

The CMA noted that Google and Apple powered 97% of all mobile web browsing that took place in the UK in 2021. Any restrictions on these browser engines can have a major impact on user experiences, it said. he noted.

In the country, there are already more than 800,000 users of computer games cloud gaming services, but restrictions on their distribution on mobile devices could hinder the growth of this sector, which means that British gamers are excluded.

The authority had consulted on launching a market survey alongside its mobile ecosystem market research report, and its responses now reveal substantial support for a detailed survey from browser vendors, web developers and cloud gaming service providers. They say the status quo hurts their businesses, stifles innovation and adds unnecessary costs.

Web developers have also complained that Apple’s restrictions lead to additional costs and frustration as they have to deal with bugs and issues when building web pages. They have no choice but to create bespoke mobile apps when a website might suffice.

According to CMA, these restrictions limit choice and can make it more difficult to make new innovative apps available to UK consumers.

Sarah Cardell, Acting Chief Executive of the CMA, said: “Many UK businesses and web developers are telling us that they feel they are being held back by the restrictions imposed by Apple and Google. … We plan to investigate to find out whether the concerns we’ve heard are justified and, if so, identify measures to improve competition and innovation in these sectors.”

Meanwhile, Apple and Google argued restrictions were needed to protect users.

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