UK CMA investigating Google and Apple over cloud gaming market control

The CMA may issue legally binding orders to the tech giants

The United Kingdom’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is planning an investigation into Apple and Google regarding their dominance over the mobile market, notably in internet browsers and cloud gaming.

A year-long study of Apple and Google found the tech giants essentially had a “duopoly” over mobile ecosystems which has allowed them a tight grip on the mobile market. Most relevant for the gaming industry is the specific focus on cloud gaming that the CMA mentioned in their press release.

The CMA states: “Apple has also blocked the emergence of cloud gaming services on its App Store. […] Gaming apps are a key source of revenue for Apple and cloud gaming could pose a real threat to Apple’s strong position in app distribution. By preventing this sector from growing, Apple risks causing mobiles users to miss out on the full benefits of cloud gaming.”

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CREDIT: Alamy

After hearing complaints from UK businesses about restrictions in the mobile market, the CMA plans to investigate the cloud gaming market further and may make legally binding orders compelling Google and Apple to change their business practices.

The rest of the press release concerned mobile browsers, with a particular focus on how Apple prevents users from downloading alternatives to its Safari browser. Google Chrome coming pre-installed on mobile devices, giving Google a clear advantage, has also raised concerns for the CMA.

The CMA will also be launching an investigation into Google’s rules for listing apps on its Play Store, and a similar investigation into Apple’s App Store is already underway as of March last year.

The consultation period on the potential market investigation into Google and Apple will be concluded on July 22.

In other industry news, Microsoft has committed to not opposing unions within Activision Blizzard once their takeover is complete. 

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