MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
53,593
15,292


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.jpg


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.

Article Link: Apple and Google 'Duopoly' to Come Under Scrutiny in the UK
 
Last edited:

darkcompass

macrumors regular
Aug 22, 2018
193
270
The CMA says that consumers could be "losing out across a wide range of areas"
Im a UK consumer, and I do not feel like I'm losing out. Where does this government department get their information from?

All these things favour the plaintifs, it does not benefit the end user of any services effected by any legislation because of governmental jiggery-pokery
 
Last edited:

Aniseedvan

macrumors 65816
May 14, 2012
1,104
223
UK
Pointless. A third OS was around, but no one wanted it enough.
I had a windows phone for work. The camera was great (Nokia heritage!) and the OS was OK. Where it died was the lack of apps. I slowly watched the support for the most basic stuff wither and die. It’s still going - a relative wanted something basic to surf the internet with and doesn’t understand ‘apps’!

Im not sure what the outcome will be for this investigation….
 

jakeenzo

macrumors member
Sep 18, 2014
89
90
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.
 

wanha

macrumors regular
Oct 30, 2020
221
539
I understand the intent behind this (duopolies don't exactly encourage competition), but I don't know what governments can really do about this.

Windows Phone, for example, was a pretty good OS that Microsoft threw all their weight behind, but it never gained traction with either consumers or developers because the network effects of iOS and Android were so strong that there was never a reason to invest in a third OS.
 
Last edited:

Marbles1

macrumors 6502
Nov 27, 2011
254
915
I'm in two minds about this - the UK and other countries' regulators seem to take the approach that people need a minimum of '3 or 4' competitors in every industry, regardless of industry or size. In Telecoms in the UK, the market forces, needs of investment and competition etc. have settled 3 or 4, plus a number of firms that piggy back existing networks.

For mobile phone firms, given the massive investments required, maybe 2 big firms is about right?
 
  • Like
Reactions: haruhiko

Unsupported

macrumors 6502
Jul 23, 2020
495
433
a land far, far away...
I had a windows phone for work. The camera was great (Nokia heritage!) and the OS was OK. Where it died was the lack of apps. I slowly watched the support for the most basic stuff wither and die. It’s still going - a relative wanted something basic to surf the internet with and doesn’t understand ‘apps’!

Im not sure what the outcome will be for this investigation….
My wife had a Windows Phone because she uses Microsoft software at work and thought it would be easier and more compatible. It wasn't.

It went several years without upgrades then ceased to support WhatsApp, which is what she uses more than anything else on her smartphone.

She now uses an iPhone 11, and I ditched my ageing Samsung Galaxy Mini and have an iPhone 8.

We're both happier than ever.
 

IceStormNG

macrumors 6502
Sep 23, 2020
485
607
It's simply too late for any competition. The main issue with every new platform is: Lack of Apps. How do you get developers to move to your new platform? Right: If there's money to make. If there are users that use the stuff.
How do you get users to use your platform? Right: If there are a lot of cool feature and most important: The apps they want to use.
 

Sasparilla

macrumors 68000
Jul 6, 2012
1,660
2,763
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?
Among other things, perhaps put back doors into the phones encryption. That would be what governments intelligence services would want.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ian87w
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.