On June 10th 2022, the UK Competition and Markets Authority published its Final Report on its market study into Mobile Ecosystems.
The report concluded that Apple and Google’s duopoly gives the companies a “stranglehold” over mobile markets, allowing these gatekeepers to distort the marketplace for their own benefit. The Final Report on Mobile Ecosystems is damning on its own, highlighting the incredibly tight grip Apple and Google have over operating systems, app stores, apps, browsers – and how dependent the web’s supply chain is on these tech giants.
Movement for an Open Web (MOW) welcomes this assessment of the dire state of mobile ecosystems. The report further affirms the climate of fear pervading online markets; no-one can afford to speak out against these big players because of their power and control.
MOW has identified three points of key significance from this report:
- The CMA is openly criticising Apple and Google’s privacy and security defences for their anti-competitive behaviour. The CMA’s scepticism suggests Apple and Google lack credibility on “privacy and security”, which they have relied on to claim the high ground over their anti-competitive behaviour. These defences are unlikely to stand up to closer scrutiny.
- The CMA is ratcheting up the pressure on Google and Apple, with a new Market Investigation into mobile browsers and cloud gaming. Under the Market Investigation powers the CMA does not have to ask permission or forgiveness, it has extensive enforcement powers, including break up, if it decides each has abused their market positions and that those powers are needed for an effective remedy.
- There are two ecosystems dominated by each browser owner which have built a spider’s web of inter-dependent interests. All businesses and consumers in each ecosystem now depend on each browser owner. Browsers are at the core of their market power, sitting as they do at the entry to each ecosystem. The spotlight is now on these browser owners in the upcoming full Market Investigation.
Action to rein in Google and Apple’s market dominance must now be taken. The CMA has all the facts, and a clear grasp on just how unsustainably toxic the power of digital gatekeepers has become. Swift and decisive intervention is needed – not just for the sake of competing businesses, but for consumers and the health of our digital world.
Notes for Editors
Movement for an Open Web has produced a more detailed brief summary of the CMA’s latest report, which you can find here.
For further information about Movement for an Open Web, including information about joining our cause, please contact Media@MovementForAnOpenWeb.com
Header image courtesy of Jonas Leupe via Unsplash (Licensed for free use under the Unsplash License)