The audit continues after the consultation
Examine whether new rules are needed to boost competition
Google says it builds open platforms that benefit users
Apple says it promotes competition and choice
(Added Google answer)
By Paul Sandle and Pushkala Aripaka
LONDON, Nov 22 (Reuters) – Britain’s competition watchdog on Tuesday launched an in-depth investigation into the dominance of mobile browsers Apple and Google.
Responses to a consultation it launched in June showed “substantial support” for a fuller investigation into the matter and whether iPhone maker Apple restricts cloud gaming through its appstore, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said.
“Many businesses and web developers in the UK tell us they feel held back by restrictions set by Apple and Google,” Sarah Cardell, interim chief executive of the CMA, said in a statement.
“We intend to investigate whether the concerns we have heard are justified and, if so, identify steps to improve competition and innovation in these sectors.”
Google said its Android mobile operating system gave users and app stores more choice than any other mobile platform.
“It also allows developers to choose the browser engine they want, and has been the launchpad for millions of apps,” a spokesperson said.
“We are committed to building successful, open platforms that empower consumers and help developers build successful businesses.”
Apple said it would “constructively” contact the CMA to explain how its approach “promotes competition and choice, while ensuring that consumer privacy and security are protected.”
US tech giants, including Google owner Alphabet and Apple, are drawing increased attention from competition regulators in Brussels, London and elsewhere.
Google’s Play Store is the subject of separate investigations by antitrust authorities in the EU and Britain, the company said last month. (Reporting by Paul Sandle in London and Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli and Jason Neely)