UK regulator tackles Apple and Google mobile duopoly


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The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority, which blocked Facebook’s acquisition of the Giphy imaging platform two weeks ago, now threatens to be a thorn in the side of Apple and Google .

An interim report for the CMA Mobile Ecosystem Market Study spans 681 pages, including appendices, and focuses on the power the two tech giants wield through iOS and OS operating systems. Android and their respective browsers and app stores that dominate mobile devices.

“Because Apple and Google monitor the performance of browsers on their devices; and also define the conditions of access to their application stores for native applications, they are able to limit competition from third parties in various ways, ”he concludes.

The two companies are likely to be designated digital platforms with “strategic market status” under a new regulatory regime that would apply codes of conduct and intervene to promote competition and protect consumers. The power of both was “likely to require a set of interventions,” the report said.

Its authors say they are not currently exploring the most drastic measure suggested to end conflicts of interest. That would mean banning Apple and Google from operating app stores and forcing them to divest. “Similar benefits could be provided by less intrusive interventions,” they say.

Nevertheless, the CMA is having a great time and the coming regime will strengthen its corrective capacities. A final report with recommendations for specific interventions is expected in six months. Any changes it imposes could be felt around the world, given the comprehensive approach taken by Apple and Google to update their software and services.

The Internet of (five) things

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Technical tools – Oppo Air Glass

Chinese smartphone maker Oppo unveiled its first flagship foldable phone, the Find N, during its innovation day this week, along with this augmented reality device, the Air Glass. Available in Q1 2022, but only in mainland China, it includes Oppo’s Spark microprojector and supports four different user interactions via touch, voice, head movement, and hand movement. It is available in either a silver half-rimmed “eyeglass” or a black full-rimmed frame and there is a magnetic port for attaching it to conventional eyewear. Apps that project goal information include weather, calendar, health, teleprompter, translation, and navigation.

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