As part of its continuation gear antitrust on tech giants, the UK has announced it is examining Apple and Google over the mobile browser market, with a particular focus on mobile gaming.
The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced on Tuesday that it will review the situation of mobile browsers. In particular, the commission was met with growing comments from “browser vendors, web developers and cloud gaming service providers” concerned that control over mobile browsers is an issue that is stifling innovation and driving up costs.
Many UK businesses and web developers tell us they feel held back by the restrictions imposed by Apple and Google. Meanwhile, we’re using our existing powers to tackle problems where we can. We plan to investigate whether the concerns we have heard are justified and, if so, identify measures to improve competition and innovation in these sectors
In particular, one of the aspects under investigation will be cloud gaming. It’s not entirely clear why the survey includes it as part of a browser investigation, as restrictions on Apple’s game streaming services are not in Safari, but in the App Store.
Apple bans cloud gaming through the App Store, a unless each streaming title passed the checks as a standalone app. In addition to mobile gaming, the UK’s antitrust body is also looking at other unspecified factors of the mobile browser market, again involving alleged restrictions that limit choice and could make it more difficult to get innovative new apps into the hands of UK consumers.
Notable vendors that supported an investigation include DuckDuckGo, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Meta, Microsoft, Mozilla and Vodafone. Google and Apple have argued their positions, mainly by shielding themselves behind security.
UK rules suggest that a market investigation must be completed within 18 months of initiation. We recall that following the investigation the UK CMA has the power to impose fines on non-compliant businesses.