A newly established UK digital watchdog commenced a study into potential market dominance by Google and Apple across various sectors, adding to growing scrutiny of the tech giants’ respective practices.

The Digital Markets Unit of the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) will explore alleged dominance of Google and Apple in sectors including their smartphone OSes, app stores and web browsers.

CMA chief executive Andrea Coscelli said the authority aimed to find whether Apple and Google created problems by controlling “the major gateways through which people download apps or browse the web on their mobiles, whether they want to shop, play games, stream music or watch TV”.

The CMA said will look into the “effective duopoly” of the pair and whether competitors are impeded, with a specific focus on the effects of the companies’ market power over other businesses including app developers.

It explained the study would take 12 months and could result in guidelines being issued for businesses and consumers, along with recommendations to the government on potential actions.

The CMA launched a probe into Apple in March following claims of anti-competitive conduct towards app developers.

Apple is also being investigated by the European Commission, while Google’s practices have been in the spotlight in the US since 2019.