The UK antitrust regulator, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), reported today that it has launched an in-depth investigation into the dominance of Google and Apple in the mobile browser market.
In June, the CMA conducted a preliminary inquiry into the dominance of the two companies in the mobile browser market and asked for comments, and today the CMA said the results of that inquiry indicate that we need to conduct an in-depth investigation into the dominance of Apple and Google in the mobile browser market, as well as Apple’s restrictions on cloud gaming through its App Store.
Sarah Cardell, the interim CEO of the CMA, said in a statement, “Many UK businesses and web developers have told us that they are being held back by Apple and Google’s restrictive conditions. We will investigate this and assess whether their concerns are valid. If Apple and Google do engage in unfair competitive practices, we will take steps to improve the competitive and innovative environment.”
In response, Apple said today that it will engage in a constructive dialogue with the CMA to explain how its practices promote competition and choice while protecting consumer privacy and security. Google has not yet commented, but the company said in June that it would continue to work with the CMA.
In fact, a year ago, the CMA investigated Apple and Google’s operating systems (iOS and Android), app stores (App Store and Play Store), and web browsers (Safari and Chrome), primarily concerned that these products exerted too much control over users.
The CMA said at the time, “Apple and Google have a firm grip on how we use our phones and we are concerned that this will lead to a loss of choice for millions of people in the UK.”