UK to investigate Apple and Google's 'grab' of browsing

The UK Competition and Markets Authority on Tuesday launched an investigation into Apple and Googlecontrol of the mobile browser market.

The authority will explore the companies’ “takeover” of browsing, as well as Apple’s control over cloud gaming through the App Store, it said in a statement. The agency said Google and Apple powered 97% of all web browsing that took place in the UK in 2021.

Web developers, cloud gaming service providers and browser vendors offered “substantial support” for the investigation, according to the results of a June consultation released by the authority. They claim the status quo limits innovation and has added “unnecessary costs” to their businesses.

Developers have also complained that Apple’s restrictions make it difficult for UK consumers to create innovative new apps and that they are forced to deal with glitches and bugs when building web pages.

Sarah Cardell, the CMA’s acting chief executive, said in the statement that the authority planned to use its powers to resolve issues where it could.

“Many UK businesses and web developers tell us they feel held back by the restrictions imposed by Apple and Google,” she said. “We plan to investigate whether the concerns we heard are justified and, if so, identify measures to improve competition and innovation in these sectors.”

A Google spokesperson said: “Android gives users more choice of apps and app stores than any other mobile platform. It also lets developers choose the browser engine they want. and has been the launch pad for millions of apps.We are committed to building open, thriving platforms that empower consumers and help developers build successful businesses.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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