Apple and Google 'Duopoly' to Come Under Scrutiny in the UK

The UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has today announced an investigation into the "duopoly" of Apple and Google on mobile ecosystems, just one day after a similar investigation was initiated in Japan.

app store blue banner uk fixed

The CMA will be taking a closer look at Apple and Google's "effective duopoly" on the supply of operating systems, including iOS and Android, the App Store and Google Play Store, and web browsers such as Safari and Chrome. The CMA defines "mobile ecosystems" as "gateways through which consumers can access a variety of products, content and services," meaning that the investigation will cover a range of services and products, from fitness tracking to smart home devices.

The CMA says that consumers could be "losing out across a wide range of areas" as a result of the purported duopoly, leading to "reduced innovation" and "consumers paying higher prices." The investigation will also examine the effect of the companies' market power on other businesses, such as app developers and advertisers.

The CMA was already investigating Apple's ‌App Store‌ policies, but this investigation into mobile ecosystems is set to be broader. Even so, the CMA will present a joined-up approach across all of its related cases. Market investigations can make recommendations to the government or other bodies in the UK, issue guidance to businesses and consumers, and more.

The UK is also in the process of establishing a new "pro-competition" regulatory authority for digital markets called the Digital Markets Unit.

Yesterday, the Japan Times reported that there will be a similar investigation starting this month into Apple and Google's duopoly in Japan, which could result in increased antitrust regulations.

Top Rated Comments

gplusplus Avatar
35 months ago
This seems rather pointless. What are they going to do, force people to buy a phone they don’t want so there’s a third option?
Score: 32 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ghostface147 Avatar
35 months ago
Pointless. A third OS was around, but no one wanted it enough.
Score: 32 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jakeenzo Avatar
35 months ago
This is dumb. The reason Google and Apple have this so called "duopoly" is because they have a better product than the competition. It's as simple as that. Blackberry had a chance, they blew it. Microsoft had a chance, they blew it. Not Google and Apple's fault if the competition sucks more than my ex gf.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
4jasontv Avatar
35 months ago
Why waste taxpayer money? Just read macrumors. We have been investigating them for years.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MBAir2010 Avatar
35 months ago
about time.
their control over every phone on the planet needs to stop.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Kierkegaarden Avatar
35 months ago
What universe are they working out of? I’ve seen incredible innovation over the last 10+ years, and I’ve seen hardware and software prices fall. How exactly is the consumer being harmed?
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

General Apps Messages

Apple Announces 'Groundbreaking' New Security Protocol for iMessage

Wednesday February 21, 2024 6:00 am PST by
Apple today announced a new post-quantum cryptographic protocol for iMessage called PQ3. Apple says this "groundbreaking" and "state-of-the-art" protocol provides "extensive defenses against even highly sophisticated quantum attacks." Apple believes the PQ3 protocol's protections "surpass those in all other widely deployed messaging apps," according to its blog post:Today we are announcing...
iOS 17

iOS 17.4 Will Add These New Features to Your iPhone

Monday February 19, 2024 6:52 am PST by
Apple last month confirmed that iOS 17.4 will be released in March, and the update includes several new features and changes for the iPhone. Key new features in iOS 17.4 include major App Store changes in the EU and Apple Podcasts transcripts. The update also adds new emoji and includes preparations for the launch of next-generation CarPlay later this year. More details about the new...
Beyond iPhone 13 Better Blue Face ID Single Camera Hole

Six Reasons to Wait for Next Year's iPhone 17

Thursday February 22, 2024 4:20 am PST by
Apple's iPhone development roadmap runs several years into the future and the company is continually working with suppliers on several successive iPhone models concurrently, which is why we sometimes get rumored feature leaks so far ahead of launch. The iPhone 17 series is no different, and already we have some idea of what to expect from Apple's 2025 smartphone lineup. If you plan to skip...
samsung galaxy ring

'Apple Ring' Allegedly in Development to Rival Samsung Galaxy Ring

Tuesday February 20, 2024 2:27 am PST by
Apple is speeding up development of a smart ring that can be worn on the finger to track users' health biometrics, claims a new report coming out of Korea. Teaser image of Samsung Galaxy Ring shown at Galaxy Unpacked in January Apple has toyed with the idea of a ring wearable for several years, as indicated by several patents, but with Samsung preparing to bring its own product to market, the ...
volvo s60 drivers apple maps

iOS 17.4 Beta Adds CarPlay Option to Show Upcoming Maneuvers in Instrument Cluster

Tuesday February 20, 2024 10:47 am PST by
The fourth beta of iOS 17.4 that Apple released today adds a new CarPlay feature, according to the notes that Apple provided to developers. In supported CarPlay vehicles, there's now an Apple Maps option to show information about upcoming maneuvers in the instrument cluster. CarPlay users will be able to swap the display type between the main and instrument cluster by tapping on the map...
iPad Pro OLED Feature 2

Apple's Upcoming OLED iPad Pro Models Rumored to Be Much Thinner

Tuesday February 20, 2024 1:39 pm PST by
Apple is planning to update the iPad Air and iPad Pro lineups as soon as March, and the new iPad Pro models will be significantly thinner according to dimensions shared by 9to5Mac. Citing sources with knowledge of Apple's plans, the site claims that the larger version will be more than 1mm thinner. The current 12.9-inch iPad Pro measures in at 6.4mm thick, but the new model is said to be 5mm ...
Oled iPads and MackBook Pro Notch

Apple's OLED Roadmap: New iPad Mini, Foldable iPad Pro, and More

Wednesday February 21, 2024 5:29 am PST by
Apple is planning to launch at least nine new devices with OLED displays across the iPad and MacBook product lines, according to an updated forecast from research firm Omdia that sets out the company's plans in detail. As widely rumored, Apple's push to transition to OLED will apparently be jump-started by the release of new 11- and 13-inch iPad Pro models this year. The displays will...
m3 macbook pro 14 16

Apple Now Selling Refurbished M3 Pro and M3 Max MacBook Pro Models

Monday February 19, 2024 5:04 pm PST by
Apple today began offering refurbished versions of the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with M3 Pro and M3 Max chip options, offering the machines at a discount for the first time since their October 2023 release. The release of M3 Pro and M3 Max models on Apple's refurbished store comes almost two weeks after the entry-level 14-inch M3 MacBook Pro first appeared on the store....