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UK watchdog examines Apple and Google’s dominance of mobile phone systems

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FILE PHOTO: A 3D printed Google logo is placed on the Apple Macbook in this illustration taken April 12, 2020. REUTERS / Dado Ruvic / Illustration

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s competition watchdog has said it will investigate whether Apple and Google’s dominance in mobile phone operating systems, app stores and web browsers was hurting consumers, launching its latest survey of tech giants.

The Competition and Markets Authority said it would undertake a market study on the issue to see if the effective duopoly of pairs stifled competition and scammed consumers, or hurt businesses like app developers.

Governments around the world are seeking to strengthen regulation of US tech giants that have grown even more powerful during the COVID-19 pandemic, and there are many investigations being carried out around the world into their market positions, especially in the United States. United and in the European Union.

Britain is setting up a dedicated unit within the CMA to monitor tech giants and encourage digital competition, but said it needs to start surveying iPhone maker Apple and the Android-powered system. Google as soon as possible.

Our ongoing work on big tech has already revealed worrying trends and we know consumers and businesses could be harmed if left unchecked, CMA chief executive Andrea Coscelli said in a statement on Tuesday.

The CMA said the new mobile ecosystem study would be larger than some of the other competition probes it already has in the Apples App Store and Googles Privacy Sandbox.

Last year, the CMA concluded a digital advertising investigation, concluding that Google and Facebook have developed unassailable market positions, with both accounting for nearly 80% of digital advertising spending in the UK. He recommended regulatory changes accordingly.

Reporting by Sarah Young in London, additional reporting by Yadarisa Shabong in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath

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