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Apple and Google investigated by UK regulator over suspected cloud gaming and mobile duopoly

In the UK, 97 percent of mobile web browsing took place on Apple and Google browsers last year
Apple and Google investigated by UK regulator over suspected cloud gaming and mobile duopoly
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The latest in a string of controversies for Apple and Google, the UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is investigating the two tech giants’ duopoly on mobile ecosystems and their impact on cloud gaming.

This market investigation comes following the CMA’s Mobile Ecosystem Market Study, with its findings including the "effective duopoly" by Apple and Google when it comes to ecosystems on mobile. Further to this, web developers, cloud gaming service providers and others who spoke with the CMA have claimed that restrictions by both Apple and Google harm business and hamper innovation, meanwhile "adding unnecessary costs".

Restricting access

With 97 percent of mobile web browsing in the UK occurring via Apple and Google’s browsers last year (in the UK, according to the CMA), there has been notable support for an investigation into browser domination as well as the App Store’s restriction on cloud gaming. One example of this affecting Microsoft is that iOS users cannot download its cloud gaming app, only able to access Xbox Cloud Gaming via mobile browsers.

Recent lawsuits against Google include one from Epic Games and Match Group, who accused Google of paying off developers that may have otherwise been able to create a competing Android app store. A follow-up suit claimed Google struck a $360 million deal to prevent Activision Blizzard from creating its own app store.

"Web developers have complained that Apple’s restrictions, combined with suggested underinvestment in its browser technology, lead to added costs and frustration as they have to deal with bugs and glitches when building web pages, and have no choice but to create bespoke mobile apps when a website might be sufficient," said the CMA.

"Ultimately, these restrictions limit choice and may make it more difficult to bring innovative new apps to the hands of UK consumers. At the same time, Apple and Google have argued that restrictions are needed to protect users. The CMA’s market investigation will consider these concerns and consider whether new rules are needed to drive better outcomes."

Earlier this year, Apple lost its bid to dismiss a lawsuit by competing app store Cydia. The former also announced a further price increase on the App Store.