Litter and Google are facing yet another antitrust investigation from their former rival, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in the UK.
This time, the CMA is questioning how much power the tech giants have over the mobile market. After a year of investigation, they published its final report (opens in new tab) on the UK government website, where it is free for all to read. The report is over 350 pages long. If you prefer something more digestible, the CMA has also released a shorter version (opens in new tab) that hits all the key points.
No investigation or official investigation has been announced. The CMA is still in the planning and consulting phase on how to proceed.
The CMA says Apple and Google are too big and worries that this “duopoly” isn’t conducive to competition. The two companies, according to the report, have an effective “stranglehold” on mobile markets in the UK, which includes “operating systems, app stores and web browsers…”
CMA chief executive Andrea Coscelli says that because of their overwhelming presence, Apple and Google have made it harder for British tech companies to compete and limit consumer choice. The CMA states that 97% “of all mobile web browsing in the UK in 2021” took place using Apple’s or Google’s respective browser engines.
Apple forces developers to use its WebKit browser engine, which could, the CMA fears, discourage developers from building a faster engine and better browsers on Apple’s platform. You may get another browser on an iPhonelike Google’s Chrome, but it’s also running WebKit.
Apple, in particular, should receive extra attention in the proposed investigation. The CMA claims, for example, that Apple’s ban on cloud-based games on its App Store is also anticompetitive.
The company plans to use the proposed investigation to decide which areas under Apple’s control should be undone and how. This may involve legal orders to force change.
The investigation’s consultation period is scheduled to end on July 22. From there, the CMA will decide whether or not to add this specific investigation to other Litter and Google are already facing from them.
If you want to know more about antitrust investigations, Microsoft is in trouble too for your own cloud business.