🇬🇧 Duopoly Isn't Britain's Cup Of Tea
The UK is cracking down on what they allege is the duopoly of Google and Apple in the mobile industry. The country's Competition and Markets Authority (or CMA) is indicating that it will launch an investigation into the “strong grip on mobile ecosystems” the two tech giants have, for fear that not doing so would “shut out competitors, holding back the British tech sector and limiting choice,” according to Andrea Coscelli, the chief executive of the CMA.
The CMA launched a second investigation into Google's requirement that app developers listed on the Google Play Store use Google's proprietary payment system for any in-app purchases, reports Engadget.
The CMA is also looking into launching a third investigation, specifically on Apple's blockade of cloud gaming from its app store, notes The Guardian. That is to say, apps that enable iPhone and iPad users to stream games from the cloud rather than download (re: buy) them from Apple's platform.
In response, Apple has stated that it supports “thriving and competitive markets,” while Google defends its model as a “launchpad for millions of apps, helping developers create global businesses that support a quarter of a million jobs in the UK alone.”
A Shifting Tide
Big Tech is facing a growing backlash against its dominance and lack of regulation far beyond just the UK. The EU has passed its own set of rules under the Digital Markets Act (or DMA). The act will come into effect next year and takes aim at dominant market players (think Google, Facebook, and Apple) from using their status to block competition. The United States is also looking at antitrust regulations for Big Tech. Currently in the Senate is the American Innovation and Choice Online Act, which “would prohibit dominant tech platforms like Amazon, Apple, and Google from giving preferential treatment to their own services in marketplaces they operate,” says CNBC.
Yes, Big Tech has become a unifying force — a boogieman for both the Left and Right. However, that does not negate the fact that Big Tech has incredible control over our lives and operates basically without regulation. This seems like an overdue reckoning.