Apple and Google are constantly being scrutinised for abusing their powers and today, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has announced that it will start investigating the “duopoly”. All of this is happening one day after a very similar investigation was launched in Japan.
The CMA is taking a closer look at “whether the firms’ effective duopoly over the supply of operating systems (including iOS and Android), app stores (App Store on iOS and Play Store on Android), and web browsers (Safari and Google Chrome), could be resulting in consumers losing out across a wide range of areas.”
Andrea Coscelli, Chief Executive of the CMA said:
“Apple and Google control the major 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. We’re looking into whether this could be creating problems for consumers and the businesses that want to reach people through their phones.”
The CMA was already investigating Apple’s App Store policies, which was launched back in March this year. That investigation is still underway and is mainly looking at Apple’s anti-competitive behaviour. The new investigation goes much deeper, and much broader, especially in the mobile ecosystems. As pointed out by MacRumors, Market investigators can make recommendations to governments and other bodies in the United Kingdom, they can also issue guidance to businesses and consumers. If the investigation finds any of the companies to have misused their powers, it could bring significant changes to the UK and to both Apple and Google.
The announcement also points out that the CMA is very keen to hear more from app developers, so if you are a developer, and based in the UK, you can go ahead and fill out the questionnaire. The CMA has 12 months to conclude the study, so we’ll surely hear more about the investigation in the coming months, and next year.