British antitrust regulator, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), said today that it plans to launch an investigation into the dominance of Google and Apple in the mobile browser market. The CMA claims it is currently consulting on the investigation. In addition to this, the CMA is also preparing an investigation into Apple’s restrictions on cloud gaming through its AppStore. Furthermore, it is also seeking to enforce action against Google’s App Store’s payment policies.
Late last month, the CMA launched a second antitrust investigation into Google’s advertising business. It believes that Google may have distorted competition and illegally favored its own services. The CMA has already launched an investigation into an online display advertising service deal between Google and Facebook parent, Meta.
Google and Apple determine how users use their smartphones
The CMA has concerns that Apple and Google have too much control over the operating system. This includes iOS, Android, web browsers (Safari and Chrome) as well as app stores (App Store and Play Store). Andrea Coscelli, chief executive of the CMA, said at the time: “Apple and Google have a firm grip on how we use our phones, and we fear this will deprive millions of people in the UK of choice.”
In addition to the United Kingdom, many governments around the world are currently strengthening the supervision of American technology giants and conducting multiple investigations on their market positions. Last year, the CMA also created a dedicated digital marketing division to prevent Google and Facebook from using their dominance to crowd out smaller companies and disadvantage users.
The issue of the dominance of big technology companies is nothing new. Google and Apple have been at the hub of several investigations involving their dominance. The Google Play Store and Apple App Store take commissions for purchases. Some claim the commission is too large and Apple is in court with Epic Games for this reason.