As the suspicion among countries and world governments regarding the alleged unfair trade practices of tech giants, which apparently work to hamper competition, continues to rise, the role of Google and Apple in the so-called market monopoly has taken a new turn. As per a report by AppleInsider, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) of the United Kingdom has said that it will be launching a probe into an alleged duopoly enjoyed by the two tech biggies on the sales of mobile devices, considering the control they have over their app stores, which often blocks apps from using third-party methods of payment.
Looking into the Market Behaviour of Google and Apple
While Apple is already under scrutiny over its control on its resident App Store in the United Kingdom, the CMA has also started looking into whether or not the Android and iOS are indulging in unfair competition.
Andrea Coscelli, Chief Executive at the CMA, explained the need for the investigation, while saying that the tech giants like the Tim Cook and Satya Nadella-led firms act as gatekeepers of sorts, towards the major routes through which most people download their apps, or even browse the web. He also added that they have a major bearing on many daily activities that people perform on their phones, from streaming music and TV shows, to playing games, concluding that the agency is currently trying to ascertain whether or not this could be causing problems for consumers and businesses alike.
Coscelli also said that they have already “uncovered some worrying trends” through their investigation into the App Store ecosystem at Apple. These trends could apparently work to “harm businesses and consumers if left unchecked”.
The CMA has even called forward consumers and businesses in who make use of the Android and iOS (meaning an overwhelming proportion of the country’s population), to provide input on the issue, with the last date for submissions being set to June 26.
Inspired by Japan?
This move by the United Kingdom comes in quick succession after Japan too, announced that it would be probing the “duopoly” that the same two companies enjoy in Japanese smartphone markets. The country’s government has further added that the findings of this probe could result in antitrust regulations being tightened, as per a report in Nikkei. Input from domestic smartphone-makers and their executives are invited, as are those from manufacturers of personal computers and smart speakers. Business dealings and their degree of fairness will be evaluated.