Mozilla, the developer of the Firefox Internet browser, has taken aim at Apple, Google, and Microsoft, claiming that their operating systems make it difficult for browsers such as open source Firefox to be used on the platforms they control.
According to Mozilla, these operating systems make it “difficult or impossible for a consumer to switch browsers” by making the company’s own browser the default and in prime position on the home screen.
Mozilla intends to accomplish this in part by developing and investing in its own Gecko browser engine.
According to a report, this is significant because there are only three major browser engine providers left: Google, Apple, and Mozilla – but Apple’s engine only runs on Apple devices. Without Mozilla, Google would be the sole provider of cross-platform browser engines. Putting the development of cross-platform web browsers in the hands of a single company creates not only a concentration of power, but also a single point of failure.
In August, the Mozilla Firefox browser had a 3.16 percent global market share.
Apple Safari and Microsoft Edge have shares of the market of 18.78 percent and 4.3 percent, respectively.
According to web traffic analysis website, Google Chrome dominates the web browsing market with a 65.52 percent market share.
According to Mozilla’s research report, even when an alternative browser is downloaded and set as the default, this decision is not applied in all circumstances.
It lamented that in some scenarios, the operating system provider will bypass this decision and present their own browser rather than the selected default, and in other cases, it will seek to undermine or reverse this decision.
According to Mozilla, “regulators, policymakers, and lawmakers have spent considerable time and resources investigating digital markets” because Big Tech has so far failed to do better.
The company stated in a statement that as a result, they should be in a good position to recognize the importance of browser competition and act to prevent further harm to consumers from continued inaction and competitive stagnation.
Mozilla urged them to “enforce existing laws as well as laws and regulations that will soon come into effect.”