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Apple faces a new antitrust investigation in the UK after escaping punishment for picking words

2024-03-01 Update From: SLTechnology News&Howtos shulou NAV: SLTechnology News&Howtos > IT Information >


Shulou( Report--, December 1 (Xinhua)-- Apple faces a new round of full investigation into whether there is a monopoly in mobile browsers and cloud games, according to the latest ruling of the London Court of Appeal.

The court's decision effectively overturned the previous decision to suspend the investigation and strengthened the authority of the British Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

Cause: previously reported that the antitrust case was caused by two policies of Apple's App Store:

One is that Apple forbids providing cloud game services on App Store, meaning that developers cannot provide an application that can play multiple games through a cloud server. This is seen as a competition for Apple to protect its revenue share of its games and reduce its own Apple Arcade subscription game service.

Second, although Apple allows any developer to create their own web browser and provide it on App Store, it only approves browsers that use its own WebKit rendering engine. This makes it impossible for developers to build a browser application that is faster than Safari, and Apple limits some Safari features, such as Apple Pay integration.

Last June, the UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) investigated Apple's two policies and concluded that they were indeed monopolistic. However, because CMA previously referred to its research as "market research (market study)" rather than "market research (market investigation)", only the latter can give it the legal power to impose sanctions, so CMA cannot take any action against Apple.

To address this problem, CMA reopened a new case against the same two issues, this time labeling it as "market research".

However, Apple argues that CMA has missed the deadline to open the investigation. This is because the law requires regulators to "open" an investigation on the same day as the release of the preliminary findings.

Apple believes that the word "should" has the same meaning as "must", while CMA believes that the word "should" only gives it the right to open an investigation immediately, not an obligation. Although Apple's explanation seems more reasonable, in fact, both sides have legal precedents to support their views, so CMA appealed to the Competition Court of Appeal.

The latest ruling, the latest decision of the Court of Appeal, clarified that CMA acted within its law, rejecting Apple's argument about the time limit. The ruling stressed that such restrictions apply only to advisory processes in market research and do not limit CMA's broader investigative powers.

The court stressed the role of CMA in promoting competition and safeguarding the interests of consumers, pointing out the potential "serious consequences" of limiting these powers. The CMA investigation, which remains suspended until Apple chooses the Supreme Court to appeal, will revive efforts to examine the company's influence in the mobile browser market and its cloud gaming approach on App Store.

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