In the United Kingdom Competition and Markets Authority has announced that he will take a “closer look” at the “effective duopoly” held by Google and Apple in the mobile world. He said controlling the pair of operating systems, app store and web browsers can make “consumers lose”. The CMA added that it is concerned that this control could “lead to reduced innovation” or see “customers paying higher prices for devices and apps”.
Unlike the formal work that the CMA did Google and Apple in recent months, this is for now just a study. In a statement, chief executive Andrea Coscelli said that while the country’s new technology regulator – the Digital Markets Unit – it is being always installed, such investigations help to inform “future plans.” He added that this study will cover part of the same ground as those other projects to help build a “united approach in all these connected cases”.
Documents published at the same time he explains that the work has the ultimate goal of assessing whether “markets in their goal function well and in the interests of consumers”. This will include the creation of a rulebook for the Digital Markets unit when it begins operations and promotes global regulatory alignment. It will also examine network effects, consumer behavior and the power of predefined applications in informing consumer choice when buying phones.
The study has an initial period of 12 months and the CMA accepts submissions from interested parties for the next month. He added that he is particularly interested in the opinions of app developers and their experience of developing for one or two systems in question.
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