Sometimes it seems that both Google and Apple are not yet out of one lawsuit and are already involved in another. The one between Apple and Epic Games recently ended, resulting in a reduction of Apple’s App Store commissions on developer revenues. Google has made a similar move and so has Amazon.
Google and Apple are being investigated by authorities in the UK
Google is still making changes to its search engine selection system on Android as a result of the latest EU fine, and now both companies have just started to be investigated by the UK competition authorities. They are looking to measure their impact on innovation given that the two form a duopoly that may be blocking access to other players.
The United Kingdom is investigating both Apple and Google. It has been doing so since June 14 and although a preliminary report has already been issued (which has led to the start of the investigations), the British Competition and Markets Authority (or CMA) will have 12 months to conclude the investigation and issue its conclusions.
During the 12-month investigation, the CMA will assess both operating systems to see whether they are exercising a duopoly that restricts access to third parties and coordinates to raise prices. The CMA must determine whether both iOS and Android promote less innovation in the mobile arena or overcharge consumers who access apps, services, and in-app purchases.
In addition, the CMA must determine whether both iOS and Android are overcharging advertisers on their respective platforms and whether this is hurting developers. According to the CMA’s preliminary report, Android had a UK share of 52% compared to Apple’s 48% share, and this will form the basis for the study, throughout the investigation, of four essential aspects:
- Mobile and operating system supply
- Distribution of mobile applications
- Supply of browsers and navigation engines
- Google and Apple and the rivalry of app developers.
The process, as mentioned above, will last 12 months. The CMA must issue an interim report and a final report by June 14, 2022, and input from any potential user or developer affected in the case will be heard until July 26. All that remains is to wait for the publication of the conclusions and see how this investigation affects both Google and Apple in the mobile environment.