Apple and Google’s “vice-like grip” on the mobile phone market is limiting innovation and creating higher prices and less choice for consumers according to a new report from the UK’s competition watchdog.

The Competition and Marketing Authority (CMA) believes the two tech giants are currently leveraging their vast market power to “tilt the playing field” in favour of their own services on mobile browsers, app stores and operating systems.

This duopoly is making it incredibly difficult for competitors to enter and offer a viable alternative, which is having a detrimental impact on both choice and prices for consumers.

In the UK, more than 99% of mobile phones are either Apple iPhones, which run iOS software, or devices that have Google-owned Android installed on them.

To address the issue, the CMA wants the Digital Markets Unit, a new watchdog, to intervene and make changes when it is given the power to do so by the government.

The latest recommendations follow the release of a report based on a comprehensive investigation into whether Apple and Google exert “too much control” in the mobile phone industry.

The CMA said it has concluded that both companies have been able to build “largely self-contained ecosystems” which are hostile to outsiders and newcomers.

CMA chief executive, Andrea Coscelli says key decisions are often made to serve their own interests, which can limit the availability of certain apps and make it difficult to switch browsers.

He concluded: “This control can limit innovation and choice, and lead to higher prices – none of which is good news for users.”