Browsers Have Become Google, Apple's Achilles' Heel In Antitrust Fight: Report

Browsers Have Become Google, Apple's Achilles' Heel In Antitrust Fight: Report

The U.K. Competition and Markets Authority launched a probe into Apple Inc AAPL and Alphabet Inc GOOG GOOGL Google's mobile browser dominance in June, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Google and Apple control over 80% of the market through their Chrome and Safari browsers, respectively.

The CMA claimed an "effective duopoly" on mobile ecosystems enabling them to influence operating systems, app stores, and web browsers on mobile devices, eliminating contenders, holding back the British tech sector, and limiting choice.

After complaints from a group of software developers dubbed Open Web Advocacy, the European Commission added a section focused on browser developers to the recently passed Digital Markets Act.

Several startups attempted to break in, claiming an app-friendly browser experience. 

Software developers said web browsers were critical strategies Apple and Google have used to dominate internet markets in the past decade.

Google had, at times, held back new features that risked reducing traffic to the search engine, the report said.

Some competitors alleged Google of using subtle cues and tricks, making it difficult for third-party search engines and browsers to distribute their products through Chrome.

Google's blocking web tracking tool "cookies" in the Chrome browser have triggered antitrust concerns from the U.S. Justice Department.

Meanwhile, some software developers have criticized Apple's anticompetitive policy of barring browsers other than Safari from running their software programs, known as browser engines, on Apple mobile devices. 

Apple mandated competing browsers on Apple devices built using WebKit, the open-source software program that powers Safari.

In the U.S., some smaller browser makers are betting on the proposed antitrust legislation to prevent big tech companies from favoring their products at the expense of competing services.

Image by Deepanker Verma from Pixabay

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