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Apple, Google’s “Effective Mobile Duopoly” Investigated

The days of Apple and Google controlling the mobile market when it comes to operating systems might soon be over, as watchdogs close in to the “effective duopoly” the two tech giants have.

UK competition watchdog, the Competition and Markets Authority is investigating the duopoly, following a report on mobile ecosystems that found 97 per cent of all mobiles are powered by either Apple or Google’s operating systems.

It is also taking enforcement action against Alphabet’s Google over its app store payment practices.

“When it comes to how people use mobile phones, Apple and Google hold all the cards,” CMA Chief Executive Andrea Coscelli said.

“As good as many of their services and products are, their strong grip on mobile ecosystems allows them to shut out competitors, holding back the British tech sector and limiting choice.”

Apple claims it “created a safe and trusted experience users love and a great business opportunity for developers” on its devices.

“We respectfully disagree with a number of conclusions reached in the report, which discount our investments in innovation, privacy and user performance — all of which contribute to why users love iPhone and iPad and create a level playing field for small developers to compete on a trusted platform,” a spokesperson said.

“We will continue to engage constructively with the CMA to explain how our approach promotes competition and choice, while ensuring consumers’ privacy and security are always protected.”

Google offers up similar reasoning, explaining its Android operating system gives “choice than any other mobile platform” and that Google Play has helped launch millions of apps.

“We regularly review how we can best support developers and have reacted quickly to CMA feedback in the past,” a Google spokesperson said.

“We will review the report and continue to engage with the CMA.”


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