The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has had Google and Apple in its sights for several months now. This time around, the regulator is looking at the two companies’ mobile browsers.
The British regulator launched a study a year ago on the mobile ecosystems of Apple and Google. The market is today in the hands of this duopoly, which would block innovation in certain cases, according to the CMA.
The regulator is now looking at mobile browsers and related search engines. In the UK, 97% of mobile browsing is done on Google and Apple browsers and these are powered by their own rendering engines (browser engine) with the particularity for Apple of not accepting competitors at this level, forcing third-party browsers to go through its rendering engine.
At this level, the CMA fears that this constraint from Apple on competition will hinder the emergence of browsers that would stand out from Safari, installed on the iPhone and iPad. Moreover, this limitation could be beneficial to Apple which would not need to invest excessively.
Google’s Chrome and Apple’s Safari also come pre-installed on phones, giving a key advantage over other browsers since users won’t necessarily be looking for an alternative. This allows for a combined market share of 90% for these two browsers.
Apple is also known to block cloud gaming on its products. It must be said that mobile games are an important source of income for the Cupertino company and the emergence of cloud gaming could overshadow its system, thanks to the arrival of games that are much more efficient and available in just a few clicks away, according to the CMA.
The regulator thus heard the concerns of several British companies who announced that these restrictions prevented them from innovating and being competitive on this market. An investigation is underway and it could result in an action by the CMA which could force Apple to open this market.