The UK Competition and Markets Authority has launched an investigation into Apple Inc. AAPL and Alphabet Inc. GOOG GOOGL Google’s domination of mobile browsers in June, Wall Street Journal reports.
Google and Apple control over 80% of the market through their Chrome and Safari browsers, respectively.
The CMA claimed an “effective duopoly” on mobile ecosystems allowing them to influence operating systems, app stores and web browsers on mobile devices, eliminating competitors, holding back the UK tech sector and limiting the choice.
After complaints from a group of software developers dubbed Open Web Advocacy, the European Commission added a section focused on browser developers to the recently passed Digital Markets Act.
Several startups have tried to break in, claiming an app-friendly browser experience.
Software developers said web browsers were key strategies used by Apple and Google to dominate internet markets over the past decade.
Google sometimes withheld new features that risked reducing traffic to the search engine, according to the report.
Some competitors have alleged that Google used subtle cues and tricks, which made it difficult for search engines and third-party browsers to distribute their products through Chrome.
Google’s blocking web tracker “cookies” in the Chrome browser have sparked antitrust concerns from the US Department of Justice.
Meanwhile, some software developers have criticized Apple’s anti-competitive policy of prohibiting browsers other than Safari from running their software programs, called browser engines, on Apple mobile devices.
Apple has mandated competing browsers on Apple devices built using WebKit, the open-source software that powers Safari.
In the United States, some smaller browser makers are betting on proposed antitrust legislation to prevent big tech companies from favoring their products over competing services.
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