CMA launches probe to tackle ‘stranglehold’ of Apple and Google

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Over 90% of mobile web browsing in the UK in 2021 powered by either Apple or Google’s browser engines

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Britain’s competition watchdog has launched an investigation into tech giants Apple and Google’s ‘stranglehold’ on the mobile browser market.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said it will consider whether new rules are needed to bring better outcomes for users and developers.

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Web developers have complained of restrictions from Apple and Google, which lead to additional costs and frustration as they have to deal with bugs and glitches when building web pages. Apple and Google have argued that the restrictions are needed to protect users.

Sarah Cardell, interim chief executive of the CMA, said: “Many UK businesses and web developers tell us they feel they are being stopped by restrictions put in place by Apple and Google.

“We plan to investigate whether the concerns we have heard are justified and, if so, identify steps to improve competition and innovation in these areas.”

This came after a year-long investigation by the CMA found that Apple and Google have an effective monopoly on the mobile ecosystem which allows them to ‘struggle’ these markets, including operating systems, app stores and web browsers on mobile devices Are included.

In 2021, 97% of all mobile web browsing in the UK takes place on browsers powered by browser engines from Apple or Google.

CMA chief executive Andrea Coccelli said: “When it comes to how people use mobile phones, Apple and Google hold all the cards.

“As good as many of their services and products are, their tight grip on the mobile ecosystem allows them to shut out competitors, holding back the UK tech sector and limiting choice.”

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