Australia’s competition watchdog proposed measures to curb Google and Apple’s dominance in the app market and suggested new regulation may be introduced if the tech giants fail to take appropriate action.

In an interim report on digital platforms services, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said steps are required to address Apple’s and Google’s significant market power, including reducing restrictions on developers and giving consumers more control of pre-installed apps.

ACCC chair Rod Sims said it identified a number of areas where action is needed and noting “a window of opportunity for Apple and Google themselves to take steps to improve outcomes for app developers and consumers”.

The agency will continue to review the issues over the course of an ongoing Digital Platform Services Inquiry, which runs from 2020 to 2025, taking remedial steps by the companies into account.

Sims cautioned regulation may be required if they fail to address the ACCC’s concerns.

The ACCC called for developers to have more information about how their services are made available and consumers should have greater control over pre-installed or default apps, including rating and review options.

“Apple and Google should also be prevented from using information collected about third-party apps to advantage their own competing apps,” Sims stated.

The ACCC expressed concern about restrictions imposed by Apple and Google which mean developers must use their payment systems for in-app purchases..