Apple and Google investigated in the UK for abuse of dominant position on mobile browsers

Apple and Google investigated in the UK for abuse of dominant position on mobile browsers

The United Kingdom continues to carry on its fight against the big tech companies and this time its gaze – or rather that of the Competition and Markets Authority – is turned towards Apple and Googlemore precisely on the mobile browser market, with particular attention to the theme of cloud gaming.

According to what was reported by the authority, it seems that an ever-increasing number of web developers, browser developers and cloud gaming services are complaining about theexcessive control in the hands of Apple and Google on the mobile front exercised through solutions such as Safari And Chrome. In the case of the Cupertino company, let’s remember Safari and its engine WebKit are the only truly available solutions for both users and developers on iOS and iPadOS, since any alternative browser must still be based on the same foundationcoming to present itself as a Safari in disguise.

The situation is very different on Android, at least in theory. Yes because, although it is true that the freedom of choice is clearly superior – both as regards the browser and the rendering engine – it is equally true that the policies implemented by Google tend to make Chrome an almost impossible solution to avoidor in any case placed in a position of clear importance compared to the alternatives.

CLOUD GAMING FROM BROWSER AT THE CENTER OF THE QUESTION


This, according to complaints received by the CMA since June 2022, would lead to a slowdown in innovation and the death of the competitiveness of certain services. Most of the problemspoints out the CMA through its press release, will be solved byentry into force of the Digital Markets Actbut in the meantime it is necessary to regulate the current situation.

At the moment it is not yet clear what all the points touched by the investigation will be, but it seems that the theme of cloud gaming will be one of the central ones. Also in this case it is necessary to understand what are the critical issues highlighted by the developers, since internet browsers have become the main system for circumventing the limitations imposed by Apple on the App Store, given that services such as Xbox Cloud Gaming and many others are accessible right from Safari and not through dedicated apps.

Among the other issues under consideration should be that of underestimated investments by Google and Apple on their respective browsers, which would force web developers to work harder – thus increasing their costs – to be able to correct problems or overcome excessive limitations.

THE UNITED KINGDOM INCREASINGLY STRICT AGAINST THE BIG TECH INDUSTRY


The CMA’s move is certainly motivated by good intentions, but it is probable that in the end it will end up with nothing, precisely because of the aforementioned entry into force of the Digital Markets Act, which will begin to make itself felt as early as spring of 2023. The CMA investigation, however, will be completed within 18 monthstherefore when the DMA has already been in full swing for some time, which is why it is unlikely that it will produce any particularly effective results.

From a political point of view, however, it is an important signal from the United Kingdom, which continues to raise its voice with the big tech companies and aims to pass the message of wanting to become a global point of reference with regard to the protection of consumer rights, going alongside the path taken by Europe in by the GDPR. Besides, also the investigation into Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard goes in this direction and represents the new course that the country wants to take in contrast to the tech giants.

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