- The UK’s competition watchdog has announced that it’s investigating Apple and Google.
- This antitrust investigation covers the duo’s smartphone platforms, app stores, and web browsers.
Apple and Google are a duopoly of sorts when it comes to viable smartphone platforms and the associated ecosystems. We’ve already seen both companies under fire over antitrust issues in recent times, and the UK is now joining the party too.
The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has announced that it’s investigating both Apple and Google over its smartphone operating systems, app stores, and web browsers (h/t: Android Central). More specifically, the authority says it’s checking whether the two companies are stifling competition across a variety of digital markets.
“The CMA is concerned this could lead to reduced innovation across the sector and consumers paying higher prices for devices and apps, or for other goods and services due to higher advertising prices,” read an excerpt of the announcement. This investigation will also look at the power Apple and Google have over businesses like app developers.
This announcement doesn’t name any specific third-party apps or companies, but the likes of Spotify, Tinder owner Match, and Tile have all criticized Apple and Google’s business practices in recent months. These criticisms center on the app store holder’s cut of sales, changes to app store rules, and competing products by platform holders.
Google has already been slapped on the wrist over its Android-related practices. The firm was previously slapped with a $5 billion fine by the EU in 2018 for requiring OEMs to bundle specific apps, incentivizing the use of its products, and preventing OEMs from running Android forks. Meanwhile, Apple is currently embroiled in a legal battle with Epic that could have major ramifications for its App Store and iPhone business practices.
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