Apple and Google are being investigated by the United Kingdom’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) over the way the two run the App Store and make the dominant web browsers on their respective platforms.
The new investigation is the result of consultation that had people comment on the potential for a closer look into Apple and Google.
The main point of contention for some is the way that Apple prevents some apps, including game streaming services, from being released via the App Store. In terms of Google, the issue seems to be the fact that Chrome is the go-to web browser for many.
Many UK businesses and web developers tell us they feel that they are being held back by restrictions set by Apple and Google. When the new Digital Markets regime is in place, it’s likely to address these sorts of issues. In the meantime, we are using our existing powers to tackle problems where we can. We plan to investigate whether the concerns we have heard are justified and, if so, identify steps to improve competition and innovation in these sectors.
It’s that suggestion that developers are being held back from creating better apps and services that are at the crux of the investigation, but it will be a difficult one to prove.
The investigation can only run for 18 months at a maximum and will require the CMA to seek information from Apple and Google throughout.
This isn’t the first time that Apple’s requirement that all apps be downloaded via the App Store has put it under the spotlight, and it is unlikely to be the last.
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