The UK Competition Authority (CMA) has opened an investigation into Google’s payment requirements for apps offered in its Play Store, we learned on Friday. The investigation focuses primarily on the condition that in-app purchases can only be made through Google’s payment system. According to the CMA, this could constitute a distortion of competition. The Dutch competition authority has opened a similar preliminary investigation after complaints from the parent company of dating apps such as Tinder and OKCupid.
Commercial apps from Android’s Play Store, Google’s operating system, generally incur a 15% commission on all payments processed by Google. In its defense against a Match Group complaint, Google pointed out that alternative app stores exist on Android without these conditions.
The CMA also announced Friday that it would investigate more deeply the power that Google and Apple share in the market for mobile Internet browsers. The two American companies in fact hold a “duopoly” in this area, writes the British regulator after a preliminary investigation. This gives them the opportunity to “hold a strangleholdin this market, which includes operating systems, web browsers and mobile phones, according to the CMA.
Apple also restricts access to computer games that can be streamed through the cloud, according to the UK authority. Thus, the maker of the iPhones would like to favor games that must be downloaded, which are more lucrative for Apple, which prevents the creation of more innovative forms of games.
The apple brand said to itself “respectfully disagreewith a number of CMA findings. The tech giant showcased its own investments in innovative technology.