UK Watchdog Puts Apple, Google Mobile Ecosystems Under Scrutiny -- Update
--The U.K.'s Competition and Markets Authority has launched a
market study into Apple and Google's mobile ecosystems
--Watchdog said study is part of broader move to establish new
--Google said it welcomes CMA's efforts to understand platforms
before designing rules
By Adria Calatayud
The U.K.'s Competition and Markets Authority said Tuesday that
it has launched a market study into Apple Inc. and Google's mobile
ecosystems, in the latest instance of tightened European regulatory
scrutiny over U.S. tech giants.
The antitrust watchdog said it is looking into whether the
companies' control over mobile operating systems, app stores and
web browsers could be hurting competition in digital markets.
The CMA said it is concerned that this could lead to reduced
innovation and consumers paying higher prices for devices, apps or
other goods and services. The study will also examine the effects
of Apple and Google's market power over other businesses such as
app developers, the regulator said.
The regulator said this study is broader than previous
investigations into Apple's App Store and Google's proposals to
remove third-party cookies, and is part of a larger program that
seeks to establish a new regulatory regime for digital markets.
"Apple and Google control the major gateways through which
people download apps or browse the web on their mobiles--whether
they want to shop, play games, stream music or watch TV. We are
looking into whether this could be creating problems for consumers
and the businesses that want to reach people through their phones,"
CMA Chief Executive Andrea Coscelli said.
The CMA said it is seeking comments or concerns until July 26.
The regulator has 12 months to complete the study, it said.
A Google spokesperson said Android provides people with choice
in deciding which apps they use and enables developers and
manufacturers to build successful businesses.
"We welcome the CMA's efforts to understand the details and
differences between platforms before designing new rules," the
Google spokesperson said.
Apple didn't respond to a request for comment.
The latest move from the CMA comes as European regulators ramp
up scrutiny for U.S. tech giants. Last week, Google pledged to
collaborate with U.K. regulators on the removal of a user-tracking
technology from its Chrome browser as part of commitments from
Google parent Alphabet Inc. to settle an antitrust
Earlier this month, the European Union and the U.K. opened
formal antitrust investigations into Facebook Inc.'s classified-ads
service, Marketplace. On April 30, the European Commission, the
EU's top antitrust enforcer, charged Apple with antitrust
violations for allegedly abusing its control over the distribution
of music-streaming apps.
Write to Adria Calatayud at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
June 15, 2021 10:16 ET (14:16 GMT)
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