Why Apple Is Appealing a Probe by the UK’s Competition Watchdog

Technology giant Apple has filed an appeal against an investigation by Britain’s competition watchdog into the dominance of its mobile browsers in the cloud gaming market.

Last November, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), Britain’s competition regulator, launched a full investigation into cloud gaming and mobile browsers on concerns about restrictions by iPhone-maker Apple and Google.

U.S. tech giants, including Google’s owner Alphabet and Apple, are drawing increasing attention from competition regulators in Brussels, London and elsewhere.

Lawyers representing Apple said in a notice filed with the Competition Appeal Tribunal on Friday that the CMA’s investigation should be reviewed. In its argument, lawyers said that the CMA had missed timing requirements linked to the launch of an investigation.

“Apple seeks 1) an Order that the MIR Decision is quashed. 2) a declaration that the MIR Decision and market investigation purportedly launched by reference to it are invalid and of no legal effect,” the filing with the Appeal Tribunal showed.

Responding to the appeal, the CMA said on Friday it would defend its position and continue to progress its work in line with the statutory timetable.

“We opened this investigation to make sure that UK consumers get a better choice of mobile web services and that UK developers can invest in innovative mobile content and services,” the CMA said in an emailed statement.

There is due to be a preliminary hearing on the matter on Tuesday, according to the Competition Appeal Tribunal website.

Back in November 2022, the CMA said responses to its consultation from June revealed “substantial support” for a fuller investigation into the matter and how Apple restricts cloud gaming through its app store.

“Many UK businesses and web developers tell us they feel that they are being held back by restrictions set by Apple and Google,” said Sarah Cardell, interim chief executive of the CMA, in a statement at the time.

© Thomson Reuters 2023


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