The news: The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said it is worried that the “effective duopoly” of Apple’s iPhone iOS and Google’s Android ecosystems presents a “vice-like grip” resulting in a lack of customer choice and higher prices than a more competitive market could offer.
More on this: The UK’s competition watchdog is investigating dominance in mobile operating systems and their effect on consumer choice. Its findings could lead to more regulation by way of Strategic Market Status—a label that would be applied to the most powerful Big Tech companies to hold them accountable under a code of conduct, per Bloomberg.
What’s next? The CMA is seeking government powers to enforce stronger regulation by way of the Strategic Market Status label that can then regulate the duopoly by enforcing the following:
What’s the catch? Finalizing a set of rules and actively enforcing them could take time. Expect Apple and Google to sandbag regulatory efforts through lobbying, legal appeals, and stressing the need for controls for security and innovation.
There are also no viable competitors to the smartphone duopoly, and any new entrant will need a formidable combination of hardware, software, and various ecosystems to be able to make a dent in the status quo.