Just-in: United Kingdom probes Apple, Google over cloud gaming, browsers

The dominance of US tech giants Apple and Google in cloud gaming and mobile internet browsers is the subject of an extensive competition investigation launched by Britain on Tuesday.

Following a preliminary analysis earlier this year, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) regulator announced that it would look into whether the actions of the Silicon Valley duo are restricting consumer choice.

To the detriment of competition, it claimed that Apple and Google “have an effective duopoly on mobile ecosystems that allows them to exercise a stranglehold over operating systems, app stores, and web browsers on mobile devices.” According to the CMA, in 2021, an overwhelming 97 percent of all mobile internet browsing in Britain used Apple or Google technology.

The watchdog will investigate “the way that Apple and Google dominate the mobile browser market and how Apple restricts cloud gaming through its App Store”.

Many UK companies and web developers argue that the status quo is harming their businesses, holding back innovation and adding costs, the regulator said.

In the end, these limitations reduce choice and might make it more challenging to get cutting-edge new apps into UK consumers’ hands. Apple and Google have claimed that limitations are necessary to protect users at the same time.

A spokeswoman for Apple responded by stating that the company will “engage constructively” with the CMA investigation while reiterating that its strategy “promotes competition and choice.” Google emphasized its dedication to “thriving, open platforms that empower consumers and aid developers in creating profitable enterprises.”

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