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The UK is going to 'scrutinize' Apple's mobile ecosystem market power

App Store
App Store (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • The UK is investigating Apple's mobile ecosystem market power.
  • Google is also in the crosshairs.

The UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has today announced that it intends to investigate both Apple and Google in terms of the way their mobile ecosystems inform their market power.

As far as Apple is concerned, it's the App Store and Safari that are being looked at in particular, with things like Apple TV+, Apple Pay, Fitness+, and more all set to be put under the microscope with the CMA concerned that users are being impacted by the way Apple deals with others.

'Mobile ecosystems' refers to this collection of gateways through which consumers can access a variety of products, content and services, such as music, TV and video streaming, as well as fitness tracking, shopping and banking. These products also include other technology and devices such as smart speakers, smart watches, home security and lighting (which mobiles can connect to and control).

The investigation will also see the CMA look at whether businesses are being impacted because they are unable to reach people through iPhones – presumably in relation to App Store review and potential rejections.

"Apple and Google control the major gateways through which people download apps or browse the web on their mobiles – whether they want to shop, play games, stream music or watch TV. We're looking into whether this could be creating problems for consumers and the businesses that want to reach people through their phones.

The CMA now has 12 months to conclude its investigation into the situation and it's also asking app developers to get in touch (opens in new tab) about their feelings, too.

This latest news is just another indication that Apple is in the midst of an onslaught from various angles, all in relation to the way it does business across the App Store and beyond. Apple's 30% commission is one of the main issues countries are looking into, something that hasn't been helped by the recent Epic Games trial surrounding the App Store.

Oliver Haslam
Contributor

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.