The UK’s Office of Communications (Ofcom) is planning to investigate the world’s biggest tech companies over their dominance in several areas.
The communications regulator wants to look into how the stranglehold of the “hyperscalers” in areas including cloud computing, messaging and smart devices works for consumers and businesses in the UK.
The cloud services investigation will take priority and will look at Amazon, Microsoft, and Google, who control more than four-fifths of the market between them.
In addition, the regulator will examine how the market power of WhatsApp, Zoom and FaceTime have impacted on traditional calling and messaging and if there are “potential concerns” over the lack of interoperability.
Smart TVs, digital personal assistants and smart speakers such as Amazon’s Echo, Google’s Nest and Apple’s HomePod will be looked at to ensure their effects on consumer behaviour do not distort the market for TV, radio and online content.
Ofcom’s director of connectivity, Selina Chadha, said: “The way we live, work, play and do business has been transformed by digital services.
“But as the number of platforms, devices and networks that serve up content continues to grow, so do the technological and economic issues confronting regulators.
“That’s why we’re kick-starting a programme of work to scrutinise these digital markets, identify any competition concerns, and make sure they’re working well for people and businesses who rely on them.”
BANG ShowBiz Tech