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14 Dec, 2021 15:53

Google & Apple have ‘vice-like’ grip on consumers – regulator

Google & Apple have ‘vice-like’ grip on consumers – regulator

The UK’s competition regulator has blasted US tech giants Google and Apple for their tight control over consumers’ choices and the prices they pay for goods and services.

Apple and Google have developed a vice-like grip over how we use mobile phones, and we’re concerned that it’s causing millions of people across the UK to lose out,” Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) CEO Andrea Coscelli said on Tuesday, as cited by Reuters.

The CMA said it had provisionally found that the two firms were using their market power to create self-contained ecosystems. It announced it would be seeking the firms’ response to its initial findings, and urged them to respond by February 7. Its final report will be compiled by June next year.

The statement from the CMA comes amid ongoing scrutiny of largely US-based tech giants in the UK as it tries to level the online playing field between big corporations and smaller businesses.

In its report, the regulator suggested a number of options to broaden online competition and allow more variety. For instance, it asked the firms to ease consumers’ transition between Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android phones without losing data or functionality, and to provide ways to install phone apps via sources other than Apple’s App Store or Google’s Play Store.

In its defense, Google said its Android system gave people more choice than any other mobile platform to decide which apps or app stores they used. Apple also robustly defended its ecosystems, claiming they provided the foremost security and privacy.

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