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Apple appeals UK probe, but is it just buying time?


Apple has filed an appeal against the UK competition watchdog’s decision to launch an investigation against it and Google into their dominance of mobile services.

Apple has appeal

The iPhone maker’s legal team argues that the probe should be reviewed, arguiing it missed timing requirements to launch an investigation, Reuters explains. Then UK  Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) will continue to look into the matter while defending its decision.

The CMA argues that the investigation aims to give UK consumers more choice while providing developers with more opportunity to innovate. It also notes that 97% of all UK mobile web browsing relies on either Apple’s or Google’s browser engines.

What issues are being investigated?

The CMA announced plans to launch an investigation in November. There are three primary strands that affect Apple:

  • One involves the impact of control of the browser market on developers.
  • Another involves Apple’s insistence that browsers on its platform use its own WebKit browsing technology. In its November announcement, the CMA warned this may hold back “potentially disruptive innovation.”
  • And the CMA is also looking at Apple’s refusal to permit cloud gaming services on the App store.

“We plan to investigate whether the concerns we have heard are justified and, if so, identify steps to improve competition and innovation in these sectors,” Sarah Cardell, the CMA interim CEO, said announcing the investigation.

What is the effect of the appeal?

Apple’s appeal of the investigation may or may not succeed, but it seems plausible — given the nature of UK law — that the investigation could be slowed. Ultimately the CMA aims to finish its investigation by or before early summer 2024.

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