Britain opens probe into Google and Apple’s dominance of mobile browsing market

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Nov. 22 (UPI) — Britain’s competition regulator announced Tuesday that it was launching an investigation into the ways that Apple and Google dominate the mobile browsing market.

A preliminary report from the Competition and Markets Authority found that Apple and Google effectively have a duopoly on mobile ecosystems that allows them to exercise a stranglehold over operating systems, app stores and mobile web browsers.

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“Many U.K. businesses and web developers tell us they feel that they are being held back by restrictions set by Apple and Google,” Sarah Cardell, interim Chief Executive of the CMA, said. “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. We want to make sure that U.K. consumers get the best new mobile data services, and that U.K. developers can invest in innovative new apps.”

The CMA specifically said that web developers have complained that Apple’s restrictions and underinvestment in its browser technology, have led to bugs and glitches in building web pages.

Nearly 97% of all mobile web browsing in Britain in 2021 happens on browsers powered by either Apple’s or Google’s browser engine, so any restrictions on these engines can have a major impact on users’ experiences, the CMA said.

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The investigation will consider these concerns and then decide whether new rules are needed to protect consumers and encourage competition.