Mozilla calls out Microsoft, Apple, & Google for stifling competition

Internet browser Mozilla Firefox has reportedly accused Silicon Valley tech giants Google, Microsoft, and Apple, who also run their own internet browsers and operating systems, of anti-competitive practices and limiting users’ choices.

In its most recent report, Mozilla stated that operating systems are incentivized to give preference to their own web browsers, all at the expense of the independent alternatives and customer choice.

For context, Google is the developer of Android and Google Chrome, Apple of iOS, macOS, and Safari, and Windows of Microsoft and Microsoft Edge.

Mozilla has accused Apple of complicating the process to change the default browser on iOS 14.

Its report stated that there is no specific menu through which users can change or select their default browser, having to instead click on a browser in the settings menu, which opens a list of options to change that browser’s settings, and select the option to make it default.

This was also seen in smartphones the operate on the Android OS.

The report emphasizes that having default mobile browsers is advantageous for platforms and frames mobile consumer behavior that will be difficult to change.

It alleged that given the default browsers' pre-installation satisfaction, utility, and lack of inertia and differentiation, mobile browser users are less likely to look for alternate options that might suit their needs, provide more security and privacy, or aligns with their values better.

Mozilla’s report further emphasized the constant prompts users receive on Windows laptops for downloading the Edge browser. Similar to the way Google Chrome prompts a Apple users when they try to access Google Drive through the Safari browser.

The report stated that this prompt pops up every time a user opens a new window in Safari to use Google Drive until they select the ‘Don’t Switch’ option, and many end up clicking on the bolded ‘Yes’ option even if they did not intend to.

Mozilla stated that the nudges and design of choices that operating systems present to users generally lead to decisions that benefit the platform, instead of being in the best interests of consumers. 

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