UK Market Watchdog’s Report Accuses Apple and Google of Duopoly

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Earlier this year, the United Kingdom Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) launched a probe to investigate Apple and Google’s stronghold on operating systems, app stores, and spider web browsers. Now, the authorization is reporting its findings that advise the ii companies have a duopoly in the market.

In its interim report, the antitrust watchdog opines that Apple tree and Google take a “vice-like grip” over how people in the UK use their mobile phones, causing millions of them to “lose out.”

Information technology says it is “concerned this is leading to less contest and meaningful choice for customers. People also appear to be missing out on the full benefit of innovative new products and services – such as so-called ‘web apps’ and new ways to play games through cloud services on iOS devices.”

The authority too expresses business concern that people could exist paying higher prices for iPhones, app subscriptions, and in-app purchases (IAPs) than they would in a more competitive market. Andrea Coscelli, Main Executive of the CMA, says:

“Apple and Google have developed a vice-like grip over how we use mobile phones, and we’re concerned that it’due south causing millions of people across the UK to lose out. Nearly people know that Apple and Google are the chief players when it comes to choosing a phone. Only it can exist easy to forget that they set all the rules, also – from determining which apps are bachelor on their app stores to making it difficult for us to switch to alternative browsers on our phones. This command can limit innovation and choice and lead to college prices – none of which is good news for users,”

The CMA has provisionally constitute Apple and Google capable of leveraging their market duopoly to create self-independent ecosystems, making information technology “extremely difficult for whatsoever other firm to enter and compete meaningfully with a new system.”

Possible Recourse

To accost the findings and associated concerns, the report has outlined the post-obit remedial measures that could be taken:

  • Brand information technology easier for users to switch between iOS and Android when they change their phone, and then they don’t lose functionality or data.
  • Make it easier to install PWAs and apps from third-party sources besides the App Store and Play Shop.
  • Let all apps give users options for how they prefer to pay for IAPs, subscriptions, etc., instead of being tied to using Apple or Google’s proprietary billing systems.
  • Permit users easily cull alternatives to Google and Apple tree’due south default browsers and set their option every bit the new default.

While some of these suggestions are already halfway implemented on Android, Apple’southward iOS has a long fashion to become. Some of these points have been the crux of contentious lawsuits as well. For case, the third suggestion is one of the points effectually which the Apple vs. Epic Games lawsuit revolves.

Do you think the iPhone maker and the search behemothic are on their manner from the frying pan into the proverbial burn down? Is it likely that this study volition set off lawsuits against the companies in the U.k., alleging antitrust and anticompetitive beliefs? Tell us in the comments beneath.

[Via GOV.United kingdom of great britain and northern ireland]


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