Google and Apple: the “duopoly” of operating systems and mobile applications in the spotlight

The British Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is eyeing the “effective duopoly” of Apple and Google, fearing that the markets for smartphones and mobile applications are losing consumers.

The regulator is concerned that iOS and Android, combined with Apple’s App Store and Google Play, will harm consumers in a variety of ways, primarily by stifling competition in digital markets with their inordinate control over these gateways.

AMC isn’t just about apps, but all IoT devices in consumer homes that are controlled by smartphones, from TVs to smart speakers.

“Apple and Google control the main 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, Andrea said. Coscelli, Director General of the CMA.

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“We are investigating whether this could create problems for consumers and businesses who want to reach people through their phones.”

“Our ongoing work on big tech has already revealed worrying trends and we know that consumers and businesses could be hurt if left unchecked. That’s why we insist on launching this study now, as we set up the new digital markets unit. , so we can get started using the results of this work to shape future plans. “

Google said in a statement, “Android gives users more choices than any other mobile platform to decide which apps they use and enables thousands of developers and manufacturers to build successful businesses. We applaud the CMA’s efforts to understand the details and the differences between the platforms. before devising new rules. “

The CMA created the Digital Markets Unit (DMU) in April as part of a plan to strengthen its regulatory powers on online platforms like Facebook and Google.

The DMU has been described by the CMA as “a tough new regulator to help ensure tech giants like Facebook and Google can’t exploit their market dominance to oust competition and stifle innovation.”

The CMA is also eyeing Apple’s Safari browser, which dominates iPhones, and Google Chrome, which dominates Android phones.

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At present, the CMA’s investigation of Apple and Google is referred to as a “study”, intended to inform the UK’s new “pro-competitive regulatory regime” through the DMU.

The CMA recently launched an investigation into Apple’s App Store rules for developers on the 30% commission it takes on in-app sales to find out if Apple is imposing unfair terms or conditions. anticompetitive to developers using the App Store, and so end users have less choice or pay higher prices for apps and add-ons. Apple did not respond to a request for comment.


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