Home / Technology / News /  Mozilla accuses Google, Apple and Microsoft of anti competitive practices

Google Chrome is the undisputed leader in the web space. According to Google, around 2.65 billion users use Google Chrome on a daily basis. Microsoft Edge is another popular choice among users. Somewhere lost in the competition between the two is the Mozilla Firefox. In its latest report, Mozilla is calling out Google, Microsoft and Apple for not only limiting users’ choice, but has also resulted in unhealthy competition.

In the report, Mozilla says that operating systems are incentivized to prefer their own browsers at the expense of consumer choice and independent alternatives. After all, Google develops Android, Apple makes iOS and macOS, and Microsoft makes Windows. It accuses Apple of complexing the steps to changing the default browser on iOS 14. “There is no specific menu where a user can select their default browser; instead they must click on a browser within the settings menu and then select the option to change the default browser within the list of options for amending that particular browser’s settings," Mozilla report says. Similar is the case with Android phones.

Bundling mobile browsers as defaults has clear advantages for platforms and shapes mobile consumer behavior in a way that is difficult to shift, the report highlights. For consumers using mobile browsers, the combined factors of pre-installation satisfaction, utility, lack of differentiation and inertia mean that they are even less likely to seek out alternative mobile browsers that may better suit their needs, align with their values or offer more privacy and security, it adds.

The report also highlights constant prompts one receives on a Windows laptop to download the Edge browser. “Google’s Chrome browser presents a similar prompt to a Safari user as they access Google Drive. Annoyingly for the user, this prompt appears every time the person opens a new Safari window and uses Google Drive unless they take action to select the “Don’t switch" option. Many people will inevitably select the bolded “yes" option, even if that outcome is not their intent," it notes.

Nudges and the design of choices presented by operating systems generally lead to consumer decisions that are in the platform’s best interests, and not necessarily those of consumers, Mozilla says in the report.

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