UK Watchdog Investigates Apple and Google 'Stranglehold' over the Mobile Market

upnorth

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The UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has launched a market investigation into cloud gaming and mobile browsers after its study found Apple and Google constitute a duopoly that controls the mobile ecosystem.

The CMA in June concluded a year-long study of the market for mobile software, hardware, and services. Based on its findings - that Apple and Google have "a stranglehold over operating systems, app stores and web browsers on mobile devices" – the UK competition watchdog said at the time that it intended to escalate by opening a formal investigation. That inquiry has now begun and it should conclude in no more than 18 months. At that point, the CMA may choose to impose remedies, such as demanding a change in the way certain products are sold, requiring the divestment of business units, or insisting upon the removal of anti-competitive restrictions. "Many UK businesses and web developers tell us they feel that they are being held back by restrictions set by Apple and Google," said Sarah Cardell, interim Chief Executive of the CMA, in a statement. "When the new Digital Markets regime is in place, it’s likely to address these sorts of issues."

"In the meantime, we are using our existing powers to tackle problems where we can. We plan to investigate whether the concerns we have heard are justified and, if so, identify steps to improve competition and innovation in these sectors." Separately, the CMA is looking into Google's ad business and its Chrome "Privacy Sandbox" initiative, while another UK agency, Ofcom, is looking into how Amazon, Microsoft and Google affect competition in the cloud service business.
 

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