Mozilla, the developer of Firefox Internet browser, has hit out at the trinity of Apple, Google and Microsoft, saying their operating systems make it very difficult for browsers like open source Firefox to be used on the platforms they control.
In a report, Mozilla said that these operating systems make it "difficult or impossible for a consumer to switch browsers," by setting the company's own browser as the default and in prime position on the home screen.
One of the ways Mozilla seeks to do this is through developing and investing in its own Gecko browser engine.
"This matters because there are only three main browser engine providers left: Google, Apple and Mozilla - but Apple's engine only runs on Apple devices. So, without Mozilla, the only cross-platform browser engine would be provided by Google," said the report.
"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," it added.
The Mozilla Firefox browser had a 3.16 per cent market share worldwide in August.
Apple Safari and Microsoft Edge browsers have 18.78 per cent and 4.3 per cent market share, respectively.
The web browsing market is dominated by Google Chrome, at 65.52 per cent market share, according to web traffic analysis website StatCounter.
Mozilla said in its research report that even when an alternative browser is downloaded and selected as default, this decision is not applied in all circumstances.
"The operating system provider will in some scenarios 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," it lamented.
Mozilla said that as Big Tech has so far failed to do better, "regulators, policymakers and lawmakers have spent considerable time and resources investigating digital markets".
"They should, therefore, be in a good position to recognise the importance of browser competition and to act to prevent further harm to consumers from continued inaction and competitive stagnation," the company said.
Mozilla called on them "to enforce the laws which already exist and the laws and regulations which will soon come into force".
(Except for the headline and cover image, the rest of this IANS article is un-edited)