Apple wins appeal against UK antitrust probe into mobile browser dominance

Apple has dealt the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority a major setback in its effort to regulate the tech giant. The company on Friday won an appeal against an investigation the antitrust watchdog launched last fall. As a reminder, the CMA opened a full market investigation into Apple and Google in November. At the time, the regulator said many UK businesses felt limited by the “stranglehold” the two tech giants had on mobile browsing. The investigation also looked at whether Apple was restricting the cloud gaming market through App Store rules.

According to Reuters, Apple has successfully argued that the regulator has “no power” to investigate its position in the mobile browser market. The company said the CMA should have opened the probe at the same time it first released its Mobile Ecosystems report last June. The Competition Appeals Tribunal (CAT), the court that oversees CMA cases, agreed with Apple, saying the regulator announced its investigation too late.

Apple said it was “satisfied” with the CAT’s decision, adding that it would “continue to work to provide support for developers and a safe and secure experience for users.” Understandably, the AMC was less thrilled with the outcome of the case.

“We are disappointed with today’s judgment. We have referenced this market survey to ensure that UK consumers have a better choice of mobile internet services and that UK developers can invest in new innovative applications. Our concerns and the reasons for initiating our market investigation have not been disputed by Apple,” the regulator said in a statement. “Given the importance of today’s judgment, we will consider our options, including seeking leave to appeal.”

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