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Competition watchdog to probe Apple and Google mobile ecosystems

Tue 15 June 2021 07:48 | A A A

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(Sharecast News) - The Competition and Markets Authority is to investigate Apple and Google's dominance in mobile ecosystems, the watchdog announced on Tuesday.

The CMA said it wanted to assess if the tech giants' "effective duopoly" over operating systems, app stores and web browsers meant competition and innovation was being stifled, and if consumers were losing out as a result.

Apple operates the iOS operating system, the App Store and Safari, while Google - part of parent company Alphabet - owns Android, Play Store and Chrome. The CMA said these so-called mobile ecosystems were gateways through which consumers accessed a wide-range of products, content and services, from music and TV to shopping and banking.

Andrea Coscelli, chief executive of the CMA, said: "Our ongoing work into big tech has already uncovered some worrying trends and we know consumers and businesses could be harmed if they go unchecked.

"That's why we're pressing on with launching this study now, while we are setting up the new Digital Markets Unit, so we can hit the ground running by using the results of this work to shape future plans."

The formation of a Digital Markets Unit was announced by the Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy in November. Sitting within the remit of the CMA, the unit has been tasked with introducing and then enforcing a new code governing the behaviour of dominate technology companies.

The CMA is already investigating the App Store as well Google's Privacy Sandbox over competition concerns, but said the scope of the latest probe was "much broader".

Interested parties are able to comment until 26 July. The CMA has given itself 12 months to conclude the study.

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