Mozilla, the developer of the Firefox internet browser, has taken on the trinity of Apple, Google and Microsoft, saying their operating systems make it very difficult to use open-source browsers like Firefox on platforms that they control.
In a report, Mozilla said these operating systems make it “difficult or impossible for a consumer to switch browsers”, by setting the company’s browser as the default browser and in a privileged position on the home screen. .
One of the ways Mozilla is looking to do this is by developing and investing in its own Gecko browser engine.
“This is important because there are only three major browser engine vendors left: Google, Apple and Mozilla – but Apple’s engine only works on Apple devices. Thus, without Mozilla, the sole cross-platform browser engine would be provided by Google,” the report said.
“Having the development of cross-platform web browsers in one company not only creates a concentration of power, but also a single point of failure,” he added.
The Mozilla Firefox browser had a global market share of 3.16% in August.
Apple Safari and Microsoft Edge browsers hold 18.78% and 4.3% market share respectively.
The web browsing market is dominated by Google Chrome, with 65.52% market share, according to web traffic analysis website StatCounter.
Mozilla stated in its research report that even when an alternative browser is downloaded and selected as the default, this decision is not enforced in all circumstances.
“The OS vendor will override this decision in some scenarios and present their own browser rather than the default one selected and in other cases they will seek to undermine or reverse this decision,” he said.
Mozilla said that because Big Tech has so far failed to do better, “regulators, policymakers, and legislators have spent considerable time and resources investigating digital markets.”
“They should therefore be in a good position to recognize the importance of browser competition and act to prevent consumers from suffering further harm from continued inaction and stagnant competition,” the company said.
Mozilla asked them “to enforce the laws that already exist and the laws and regulations that will soon come into force”.
(Except for the title and cover image, the rest of this IANS article is unedited)
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