Apple 'Playing Hard-Ball' in Appeal Against UK's Investigation Into Platform Restrictions

Apple has filed an appeal against an investigation by the UK's competition authority into the company's dominance of mobile browsers and restrictions on cloud gaming (via Reuters).

app store blue banner uk fixed
In November, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) launched a market investigation reference into Apple and Google's cloud gaming and mobile browser restrictions. The CMA has examined Apple and Google's "effective duopoly" that allows the companies to "exercise a stranglehold over these markets" for almost a year.

In a notice filed with the Competition Appeal Tribunal earlier this week, lawyers representing Apple said that the CMA's investigation should be reviewed and quashed, claiming that the regulator had missed timing requirements. The investigation was required to end within 18 months with specific deadlines and Apple believes this timeline has not been correctly adhered to, providing grounds for it to be reevaluated entirely.

As noted by tech regulation expert Zach Meyers, "Apple's complaints are purely about procedural niceties" and this "suggests that Apple wants to play hard-ball." App developer and an intellectual property activist Florian Mueller believes that "this appeal could go either way." If Apple wins, the CMA may simply wait for the UK's new digital competition bill to enter Parliament next month, which could provide even greater oversight and far-reaching regulatory powers.

The CMA responded to Apple's appeal insisting that it would defend its position and continue the investigation in line with the statutory timetable. A statement from the CMA added "We opened this investigation to make sure that UK consumers get a better choice of mobile web services and that UK developers can invest in innovative mobile content and services."

The CMA's investigation into Apple uses high-level powers to request extensive information from Apple to draw conclusions and implement legally binding remedies, which could include orders that require Apple to make material changes to its practices. A preliminary hearing on Apple's appeal will be held on Tuesday, 24 January.

Apple's ecosystem is increasingly coming under intense scrutiny by governments around the world, including in the United States, Japan, South Korea, the European Union, and more, with a clear appetite from global regulators to explore big tech's stances on issues like App Store policies, app sideloading, and interoperability.

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Top Rated Comments

5232152 Avatar
18 months ago
Don't create a monopoly and you will be fine as long as they insist on that. People defending Apple by saying "yOu CaN jUsT uSe AnDrOiD" does not understand that a monopoly is not about having other options.
It is about a player eating into the free market by being so big (either by choice or not). It, therefore, has to take on a more considerable responsibility that goes outside regular business expectations/requirements.

Just look at Google. When your company name becomes a verb for "Searching online", you are getting to that point. Apple is getting there too.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Sheepish-Lord Avatar
18 months ago

"yOu CaN jUsT uSe AnDrOiD"
When did people start typing like this? I see it a lot now on social media and it’s absolutely ridiculous.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
strongy Avatar
18 months ago

Don't create a monopoly and you will be fine as long as they insist on that. People defending Apple by saying "yOu CaN jUsT uSe AnDrOiD" does not understand that a monopoly is not about having other options.
It is about a player eating into the free market by being so big (either by choice or not). It, therefore, has to take on a more considerable responsibility that goes outside regular business expectations/requirements.

Just look at Google. When your company name becomes a verb for "Searching online", you are getting to that point. Apple is getting there too.
we all know courts have already ruled Apple is not a monopoly
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ksec Avatar
18 months ago
[HR][/HR]

Apple 'Playing Hard-Ball' in Appeal Against UK's Investigation Into Platform Restrictions ('https://www.macrumors.com/2023/01/22/apple-appeals-uk-platform-investigation/')
This is the right moment! Pull out of UK. /S
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MacProFCP Avatar
18 months ago
1. I support Apple on this because, as a user, I appreciate that I can rely that Apple is handling the security.

2. I wish Apple would see that the end result, increasingly around the world, is legislation forcing them to do exactly the opposite. I think it would be in everyone’s best interest for Apple to find a way to fight this with the users, not the legislators. Maybe have a toggle in settings to allow for web downloads, like on the Mac, and turning it on brings up a warning.

3. I further believe Apple has done a horrible job, publicly, defending and explaining why the system should be closed. Most of Apple advertising is focused on products. I think it would do them well to bring this fight to the citizen, the end user, too. Make overzealous legislators aware that many people don’t want, or appreciate, their overreach.

4. I fully expect the same overzealous legislators, who are forcing Apple into removing the barriers of a safer user experience, to then blame Apple for damage caused by their own incompetence. I imagine dozens of lawsuits over the iPhone’s failure to prevent scamming, unwanted pornography, and, GD forbid, child predators, when there is little control over what is installed on the iPhone. “Mr. Cook, please explain to the Senate Investigatory Committee why Apple failed to take necessary precautions to ensure the safety of America’s children?”… Tim: “Because you arrogant SOBs made it illegal to do so!”
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Danfango Avatar
18 months ago
I fully expect Apple to comply with this.

I also fully expect them to publish the likely outcome which is 99% of people don't give a crap.

I expect the 1% of people left to get burned by browsers with privacy problems, abusive subscription policies and crapware.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)