The UK wants Apple to bend over Cloud Gaming and WebKit

The UK competition watchdog is seeking to ‘remedy’ Apple’s restrictions on iOS web renderers and game streaming through the App Store through a high -level regulatory process, the organization announced today.

The CMA wants to remove the WebKit restriction

This announcement came after the publication of the study conducted over a year of Authority on Competitions and Markets (CMA) on the mobile ecosystems of Apple and Google, stating that Apple and Google have an “effective duopoly” on mobile ecosystems that allows them to “provide a stranglehold on these markets”, particularly in exploitation systems, app stores and web browsers.

In the absence of interventions, the two companies are likely to maintain or strengthen their grip on the sector, further restricting competition and limiting incentives for innovators.

The report identifies “a range of potential interventions” that can be taken to address the issues presented, but the CMA specifically considers ways to take “immediately targeted action” using current its power, including the launch of large -scale “market benchmark surveys” on mobile browser engines and cloud gaming.

app store uk england

The study raises concerns that Apple’s ban on alternative browsers on iOS and iPadOS “severely limits the ability of rival browsers to differentiate themselves from Safari (e.g., on features such as speed and features) and limits Apple’s incentives to invest in its browser engine. and business the full benefit of this innovative technology ”, as well as the main benefit that Apple and Google earn from the sale. devices with their own pre-installed navigation app. Certainly going through Webkit to offer a browser in the App Store is a severe hurdle for Firefox, Chrome, Opera, DuckDuckGo, Edge and company.

In general, the evidence we have seen does not suggest that the restriction on WebKit is justified by security concerns. We noticed that Apple was benefiting financially from weakening competition among browsers through browser engine bans.

Meanwhile, in recent submissions to National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) of the United States, Google, Microsoft and Mozilla have all explicitly condemned Apple’s WebKit restriction.

Cloud games too

The AMC report also criticized Apple’s restrictions on cloud gaming services in the App Store.

Gaming apps are a major revenue stream for Apple, and cloud gaming could pose a real threat to Apple’s strong position in app distribution. By preventing this sector from developing, Apple has threatened to deprive mobile users of all the benefits of cloud gaming.

The CMA’s benchmark proposal for market research aims to determine what specific remedies can be taken to improve competition in relation to browser engines and cloud gaming on Apple’s platforms, possibly including orders that require Apple has made significant changes to its practices. The Mobile Ecosystems Study is intended to serve as the basis for negotiating commitments and enforcing mandates.

Market investigations are a high -level process in which the CMA can request in -depth information from companies to draw conclusions and implement legally binding solutions.

Separately, the CMA continues to review Apple’s App Store terms as part of an inquiry into competition law that began in March 2021, and the UK government is providing staff in its digital markets unit with powers according to law that allows companies to disregard its rules significantly. fines.

Apple’s ecosystem is increasingly being criticized by governments around the world, including in Europe, the United States, Japan, South Korea, etc.

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