Apple, Google 'Duopoly' On Mobile Browsers And Cloud Gaming Faces UK Probe

Zinger Key Points
  • The UK's Competition and Markets Authority said Apple or Google browsers powered 97% of all mobile web browsing in the UK in 2021.
  • Apple told Benzinga that it will engage constructively with CMA to explain how its approach promotes competition and choice.

Apple Inc. AAPL and Alphabet Inc.'s GOOG GOOGL Google are under investigation for allegedly hindering the growth of tech industries in the U.K. 

What Happened: On Tuesday, the U.K.'s Competition and Markets Authority, or CMA, launched an investigation, saying Apple and Google have a duopoly on mobile ecosystems. 

"CMA has launched a market investigation into cloud gaming and mobile browsers after receiving widespread support for its proposals first published in June," the authorities said. 

See Also: Google Is Embracing Apple's Strategy Of Customization — But At A Lower Price

According to the CMA, Apple or Google browsers powered 97% of all mobile web browsing in the UK in 2021. "So any restrictions on these engines can have a major impact on users' experiences," read the CMA statement.

Apple and Google could "exercise a stranglehold over operating systems, app stores and web browsers on mobile devices," according to the statement.

"There are already more than 800,000 users of cloud gaming services in the UK, but restrictions on their distribution on mobile devices could hamper growth in this sector, meaning UK gamers miss out," added the statement.

CMA will investigate how Apple restricts cloud gaming through App Store restrictions and the way both companies dominate the mobile browser market. 

Responding to Benzinga’s request for comment, an Apple spokesperson said, “Apple believes in vibrant and competitive markets where innovation can thrive. Through the App Store, we’ve helped millions of developers turn their brightest ideas into apps that change the world, spurring an app economy that supports hundreds of thousands of jobs in the UK alone. We will continue to engage constructively with the Competition and Markets Authority to explain how our approach promotes competition and choice, while ensuring consumers’ privacy and security are always protected.”

Google did not respond immediately to Benzinga's request for comment.

Why It's Important: According to CMA, Apple and Google have argued that the restrictions are needed to protect users. The authorities will "consider these concerns" and see if new rules are required to drive better outcomes.  

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