NEWS22 June 2021

CMA examines Apple and Google tech market duopoly

Mobile News Technology UK

UK – The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has launched market study investigating whether Apple’s and Google’s effective control over mobile phone operating systems, app stores and web browsers could be detrimental to consumers.

Google HQ

The CMA will consider whether the control over the “mobile ecosystem” that allows consumers to access other products is stifling competition across a range of digital markets.

Google runs the Android operating system, as well as Play Store and Google Chrome web browser, while Apple has the iOS operating system, App Store and Safari web browser.

The study will also examine the impact of the firms’ market power over other businesses, such as app developers, which rely on Apple or Google to get their products to customers via their phones.

The CMA said it was concerned that the firms’ duopoly over several digital markets could lead to reduced innovation and consumers paying higher prices for devices and apps, or other goods and services due to higher advertising prices.

The market study is separate to CMA investigations into Apple’s App Store and Google’s Privacy Sandbox proposals over competition concerns.

A Digital Markets Unit has also recently been set up within the CMA as a pro-competition regulatory regime for digital markets.

Views on the market study can be submitted to the CMS by 26th July. The CMA has 12 months to conclude the study.

Andrea Coscelli, chief executive of the CMA, said: “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.

“We’re looking into whether this could be creating problems for consumers and the businesses that want to reach people through their phones.

“Our ongoing work into big tech has already uncovered some worrying trends and we know consumers and businesses could be harmed if they go unchecked. That’s why we’re pressing on with launching this study now.”