Apple wins appeal against Britain’s antitrust regulator’s ruling about mobile browser, cloud gaming services

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Apple has won its appeal against the decision by Britain’s antitrust regulator to launch an investigation into its mobile browser and cloud gaming services, the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) has ruled, according to Reuters.

In January Apple appealed an investigation by Britain’s competition watchdog, Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), into the dominance of its mobile browsers in the cloud gaming market. In 2022 a CMA study into mobile ecosystems concluded that Apple and Google’s duopoly means they have a stranglehold over these key gateways. 

From the 2022 CMA announcement: Apple and Google have a tight grip over these increasingly crucial ecosystems – putting them in a powerful position. Both companies unilaterally determine the ‘rules of the game’, making it difficult for rival businesses such as browsers or alternative app stores to compete. Many companies have raised frustrations with us. We found greater concerns with respect to Apple (as it imposes more direct restrictions), although Google also holds significant power.

Apple and Google’s stewardship has helped bring benefits for people and businesses, such as substantial investment and popular trusted products. But there are also significant downsides, even if they are not always immediately obvious to people. Tens of thousands of UK businesses such as app and web developers, which rely on these ecosystems to serve their customers, face restrictions and terms that they have little choice but to accept. Consumers are likely to miss out on new innovations, have less choice, and ultimately face higher prices. Both Apple and Google are making substantial and growing profits – unabated for over a decade. This matters not only for people and businesses, but for the UK’s wider digital economy including tech start-ups struggling to get a foothold.

Apple argued that the CMA had “no power” to launch such a probe because it did so too late. Reuters reports that the company’s lawyer Timothy Otty said earlier this month that the market investigation should have been opened last June at the same time the CMA published a report on mobile ecosystems, which found the two tech giants had an “effective duopoly.”

The CAT endorsed Apple’s argument, saying that in declining to take action at that time only in the expectation of receiving further powers it might well be said that the CMA “erred in law.” The CMA said it was disappointed with the ruling.

But let’s have an explanation here. The CMA against businesses and individuals that take part in cartels or anti-comic an agency that takes action against businesses and individuals that take part in cartels or anti-competitive behavior. The CAT is a specialist judicial body with cross-disciplinary expertise in law, economics, business and accountancy whose function is to hear and decide cases involving competition or economic regulatory issues.

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.